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Full text of "Hizzoner the mayor"

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HIZZONER THE MAYOR 



HlZZONER 
THE M AyOR 

A Novel iy 

JOEL SAYRE 



A^w jork 

The John Day Company 



COPYRIGHT, 1933, BY JOEL SAYRE 



MANUFACTURED IN THE U. S. A. 

FOR THE JOHN DAY COMPANY, INC., NEW YORK 

BY THE STRATFORD PRESS, INC., NEW YORK 



TO 
BRUCE RAE 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Joel Sayre was born in Indiana in 1900, but shortly 
thereafter began being raised in Columbus, Ohio, where 
he was educated in private schools. During the World 
War he served briefly with the Canadian Expeditionary 
Force in Siberia. After the armistice he attended, at 
various times, Williams, Toronto, Oxford, Heidelberg, 
Marburg and the Bliss Business College. 

For ten years, off and on, he was a reporter. The off 
years included attempts to write advertising copy, be a 
school master and study medicine. None of these at- 
tempts was a success. The on years included service on 
the Ohio State Journal, the New York Telegram, the 
New York Daily News and the New York Herald 
Tribune. 

Mr. Sayre is the author of a previous novel, Rackety 
Rax. 



HIZZONER THE MAYOR 



1 



THE CIRCASSIAN walnut bed, all whorls and 
volutes and with ruffles of mauve silk flouncing 
its sideboards, lay near the largest window in the 
largest bedroom of the largest suite in the Hotel 
Schlitz-Monopol. On the bed, in a cerement of 
sheets from which protruded two feet, the left 
socked, the right bare, lay a long figure, vast at 
the middle. It was 6 o'clock on a sticky morning 
late in July. A mosquito, unaccustomed to such 
dizzy heights, flew timidly into the room, explored 
the pair of blue serge trousers hanging from the 
rococo chandelier, and finally, with that marvelous 
instinct possessed by even our smallest creatures, 
made for the mummv on the bed in a series of 
zooms. 



"Zumphmeeeabmeeab" it whined as it whizzed 
about and stabbed at the Brobdignagian feet. First 
the right big toe and then the little toe, followed 
by the others like dancers in a Roxy ballet, moved 
in feeble protest. Curious, the mosquito swooped 
up and down the summits and craters of the sheet- 
ing until it came to the mummy's head. Out of the 
windings stuck an enormous, long-lobed, fleshy 
question-mark of an ear and this the mosquito be- 
gan to search thoroughly: "Zumphmeeeahmeah! 
Zumphmeeeahmeeahmeeahmeeahmeeahmeeab!'' 

The mummy twitched and stirred; from the 
shroud an arm emerged and a hand fanned the 
ear; the speed and intensity of the zumphmeeahs 
increased ; there was a wild whirl of bedclothes ; and 
up sat John Norris (Jolly John) Holtsapple, four 
times Mayor of the Greater City of Malta, in his 
underwear. 

With his hands on his knees, he puckered his 
face into a hideous grimace, squeezed his eyes 
tight as he yawned, shook his great head, deeply 
inhaled. 

"Pheeeeew!" 

His Honor, grievously overhung, indulged in 
a giant jitter. At first the room and its familiar 

4 



objects came to him in a wobbling blur, as though 
he were looking under water; but after he had dug 
his knuckles several times into his eye-sockets the 
astigmatism left him. Sadly he regarded the 
trousers, legs turned wrong side out, dangling from 
the chandelier. His coat lay draped over the old- 
fashioned, yard-high, brass cuspidor in the corner; 
and among the silver-backed hairbrushes on the 
bureau he spied one of his shoes. For a full minute 
he stared at the becupided ormolu clock on the 
mantelpiece, for another he gazed gloomily at his 
left foot. 

Barrelled again . . . certainly have to lay off 
the stuff for a good long stretch, and no foolin' 
. . . campaign coming on . . . long spell on the 
water wagon . . . what was it Orv called it . . . 
wawa waggie . . . pheeeeew. . . . 

Painfully His Honor bent over to remove his 
sock. With a groan he sank back on the bed, 
beshrouding himself once more in the sheets. No 
sooner was he horizontal than a heavy, throaty 
snore drowned out the faint drones of early morn- 
ing traffic that floated up from the street below. 

When the ringing of the telephone snarled 
through his dreams half an hour later His Honor 

5 



thought it was the mosquito come again to plague 
him, and, still three parts asleep, he tried to beat 
it off. The sheet shroud pinioned his arms. He 
rolled and twisted frantically to get free and 
awoke wild-eyed and sweating. The telephone 
snarled on. 

He extricated himself, writhed across the bed, 
lifted the receiver. 

" To?" 

It was a dying groan. 

"Hello, John. Mike. Sorry to get you out of 
bed " 

His Honor cursed his Executive Secretary and 
most confidential lobbygow upside down and 
backwards. 

"All right, all right, but get this: Jerry Gozo's 
been killed." 

"What!" 

"I'm telling you Jerry Gozo's been killed." 

"For Gawd's sake! Who got him?" 

"Well, that's the hell of it. He was found 
early this morning in a pay terlet at the Grand 
Union by a porter and it looks like he was kicked 
by a horse." 

"Kicked by a horse? Say, listen, Mike Raffi- 
6 



gan, if you're trying to kid me at 6:30 in the 
morning " 

"Honest to God, John, I'm levelling! The cops 
ain't only been on the case half an hour, but 
that's what it looks like. Inspector Dooley's just 
after callin' me up. There's a horseshoe mark as 
plain as print right smack on his left temple 
and " 

"But how in hell does a horse get into the 
Grand Union Depot and across the lower level 
and down " 

"You're askin' me! That's for the cops to fig- 
ure out. What I want to know is what we're 
gonna do, now that Jerry's dead. We're havin' 
an election this fall, you know." 

"Oh, Gawd! That wop's got everybody's note 
in town and they must be in fifty different banks 
under ten thousand aliases. Pheeeeew! Listen, 
Mike, here's what I want you to do. Get hold of 
Abe Schlessinger, his attorney, right away and 
pass the word along to all the parties you think's 
in hock to Jerry. Pheeeeew! Why, everybody but 
the Pope signed I.O.U.'s for that guinzo. For 
Gawd's sake, hop on it, Mike, and grab every- 
thing you can. Did he have anything with your 

7 



name on it? Oh, you ain't sure, hey? Huh. Well, 
I am. Pheeeeew! Well, you better start the word 
along right away. What's doing today? Down 
the Bay? Oh, Gawd. Well, goo' bye!" 

"Pheeeeew!" 

With another giant jitter His Honor sank back 
on the bed once more. For nearly an hour he lay 
groaning and keening at the ceiling. 



8 



2 



AS HE MUNCHED and drank a can of to- 
matoes the Mayor tried to read about the Gozo 
murder in the early editions of the afternoon pa- 
pers piled on the breakfast table before him; but 
at first he grasped little through the gauze of his 
hangover save the eight-column streamers whose 
general tenor was: 

RACKET CHIEF KILLED IN GRAND 
UNION DEPOT 

From enough of the stories that would hold 
still, however, he finally concluded there was 
little about the killing the press knew of which 
he had not already been informed by Mike. Ac- 

9 



cording to what he read, a Negro porter coming 
on duty at 4 a.m. had seen a left foot encased in 
a tan, cloth-topped, pearl-buttoned shoe sticking 
out under a door. Thinking it belonged to some 
drunk who had passed out, the porter tried to 
open the door but found it locked. He then 
seized the foot and shook it. 

"Time to get up, boss," the Press-Register 
quoted him as saying. 

When there was no response after persistent 
shaking, the porter seized the foot with both 
hands and pulled. Out came the rest of a husky 
little man in a tight-fitting light brown suit. 
Blood was streaming from his left eye, and there 
was a great swelling on the left side of his temple. 
Encasing the left eye was the clear, unmistakable 
imprint of a horse's hoof. The porter became 
frightened and summoned Patrolman Gene J. 
Mulcahy, of the Beech Street Station, who called 
an ambulance. Dr. Francis L. Duba, ambulance 
surgeon from the Malta General Hospital, pro- 
nounced the man dead. After one look at the 
body Headquarters detectives recognized the de- 
ceased as Giuseppe (Jerry) Gozo. Inspector 
Gerald W. Dooley, of the 18th District immedi- 

10 



ately ordered a cordon thrown about the men's 
waiting room. 

From there all the stories went on to describe 
the pied-and-dappled career of the late Gozo. In 
great detail they told of his 241 arrests with only 
two failures to beat the rap: a suspended sentence 
(when he was twelve years of age) for possessing 
burglar's tools and thirty days in the County Jail 
for getting behind in his alimony (imposed by 
a woman magistrate in Family Court) . The other 
charges, all unsubstantiated, had run the gamut 
from disorderly conduct (61 times) and horse- 
poisoning (17 times) through carrying concealed 
weapons (54 times) and violation of the Eight- 
eenth Amendment (83 times) to kidnapping 
(10 times) and murder (11 times). The remain- 
ing items were distributed pretty evenly over such 
offenses as felonious assault, grand larceny, arson, 
extortion and public nuisance (playing a radio 
after 1 1 p.m.) . 

Both the Republican papers gleefully disclosed 
that Gozo had been "prominent in the affairs of 
the local Democratic party" and "a member of 
the Democratic County Executive Committee," 
while the two organs allied to the fortunes of 

ii 



the Donkey somewhat grudgingly admitted that 
he had been * 'active in politics." All the papers 
declared it had long been suspected that Gozo 
was the leader of the more powerful of Malta's 
two principal bootlegging combines ; but the Fed- 
eral authorities had never been able to prove any- 
thing definite against him. 

It was recalled that after prohibition agents had 
raided the $3,000,000 brewery belonging to the 
Malta Cereal Beverage Co., which covered two 
city blocks and towered over its slum neighbor- 
hood like a red-brick Rhenish schloss, the United 
States Attorney had been totally unable to find 
out whom in the hell it did belong to in spite 
of the common knowledge of everybody in the 
city that Gozo and his mob had been running it 
full blast for five years. The harassed Federal 
authorities discovered that the Malta Cereal Bev- 
erage Co. had been incorporated under the names 
of an Abe Cohen, a Michael Kelly and a John 
Robinson, of Manila, Juneau and Montreal, re- 
spectively. Immediately after the seizure, a pla- 
toon of sharp-shooting lawyers for the incor- 
porators turned up, informed the United States 
District Judge and jury that their clients were 

12 



"out of the country temporarily," and proceeded 
to show a trivial flaw in the warrant under which 
the raid had been conducted. So, after six months' 
squabbling, the Government finally had to give 
back the brewery — beer, vats, crenelated ram- 
parts, truck fleets and all — to the Malta Cereal 
Beverage Co., whoever they were. 

All this the Mayor read by shutting first one 
eye and then the other and sighting at the un- 
stable type. His third can of tomatoes finished, 
he rose and tottered to his bedroom where his 
Japanese valet shaved him, helped him into his 
socks and shoes, pin-striped trousers, wing collar 
(size 20) , tied his polkadot bow, eased the morn- 
ing coat round the great rolls of fat over the shoul- 
ders and under the armpits, and in rapid succes- 
sion handed him his top hat, gloves, stick, two 
clean handkerchiefs, wallet, note book, keys, 
change and gold-plated police shield in its little 
leather container. 

"The car is waiting, sir." 

"O.K., Mitsu. Pheeeeew!" 

Out in the thick-carpeted hall the Mayor 
pushed the elevator button. Just then the red 
light over the door flashed and he heard the car 

x 3 



whoosh down unheeding. With a curse he began 
pushing the button frantically, as though fire had 
broken out all around him. He kept pushing the 
button and cursing, pushing and cursing, cursing 
and pushing. The elderly spinster sitting at the 
floor clerk's desk pretended not to hear. She knew 
better than even to say good morning to the 
Mayor when he came out of his door looking like 
this. She didn't even have to look at his face to 
tell; from years of practice she had only to shoot a 
glance at his feet — if he was kind of walking on 
the outside edges of his shoes, why, pretend not 
to notice. Miss Bloodgood sniffed. 

The snub-nosed elevator boy, alone in his car 
as he went whizzing past the twenty-seventh 
floor, became aware of the Mayor's furious sig- 
nalling by the pulsating red light in the box at 
his right. 

"Awright, awright, I hear ya, ya big bull," 
he said. "And I'm votin' Republican next No- 
vember, too, whaddaya thinka that?" 

An elevator two shafts over from the one which 
had ignored him finally bore the Mayor below. 
He started to scold the boy, but the speed of the 
machine in its downward plunge cut the words 



off in his throat. Instead, he removed his hat and 
mopped his forehead. 

"Pheeeeew!" 

Mike Raffigan was waiting in the lobby. His 
tired, orang-utan face bore an apprehensive look 
that relaxed a little in an attempted smile when 
he caught sight of the Mayor, but immediately 
became gloomily resigned when he saw His 
Honor's red-rimmed eyelids and the puffiness of 
his jowls. He merely saluted and fell in step across 
the tessellated corridor. 

At the curb stood a shining Rolls-Royce with 
a squadron of motorcycle police fore and aft. Two 
men, one tall, square-shouldered, flat-backed, 
black-goateed, the other short, paunchy and some- 
what smeary of feature, stood on the pavement 
by the open door of the car. They were both, 
even to the polkadots, dressed exactly like the 
Mayor and Mike. 

"Morning, John," said the tall man. 

The short, paunchy one started a salutation, 
but instead burped loudly. The Mayor smiled 
bitterly at the little man, mumbled at the other 
and stepping carefully into the car, planted him- 
self in the center of the back seat and folded his 

J 5 



hands over the head of his stick. The tall man, 
Dr. Floyd Hinchman, Commissioner of Water 
Supply, Gas and Electricity (and a dentist by 
profession), sat on the Mayor's right; Mike on 
his left. Orville Loftus, the short, paunchy man 
who was Malta's official Herald and Scroll Reader, 
took the little folding seat behind the chauffeur. 
The doorman slammed the door, there was Brown- 
ing gunnery from the motorcycles, the limousine's 
engine murmured low, Loftus burped and the 
Greater City of Malta's Official Welcoming Com- 
mittee was on its way. 

The Rolls-Royce, to the siren screams of traffic- 
clearing, shot down Pine Street, down the deep 
ravine that cut through the financial district to 
the waterfront. The Mayor began to shift and 
fidget and finally turned to his Executive Secre- 
tary. 

"How about a shot, Mike?" 

Mike hastily slapped his pockets. 

"Oh, God, John, I forgot to change me flask 
from me other suit. Did you bring your flask, 
Doctor? " 

Dr. Hinchman was sorry that he hadn't. 

"How about you, Orville?" Mike raised his 

16 



voice and shook the shoulder in front of him. 
"Flask." 

"Pheeeeew!" 

The Mayor with shaking fingers unscrewed 
the cap of the silver flask that Loftus had passed 
over. He removed his hat, put the flask inside it, 
raised the threaded mouth to his lips and tilted 
his head back, back, back. Two drops trickled out. 

"Ohhh, Gawd!" he said, pulling his hat down 
over his ears and shoving the flask back at Loftus, 
1 'two drops! If I ever get through this morning 
alive I'm gonna go on the wagon for life. Open 
some of these windows, will you, I'm dying." 

There was a long, heavy silence broken only 
occasionally by Loftus. 

" We'll get one on the ship, John," said Mike, 
"don't you worry now. Just you take and leave 



it to me." 



"Oh, leave it to you," said the Mayor pet- 
tishly, "leave it to you. I can't leave anything to 
you any more. You keep letting me down all the 
time." 

Dr. Hinchman asked if there were any new 
developments on the Gozo killing. The Mayor 
turned to Mike. 

l 7 



"Yeah, what about it?" 

"Well, there ain't much new besides what I 
already told you. I got hold of Schlessinger and 
he got hold of Mrs. Gozo and now he's tryin' to 
find out where the safety deposit boxes is. She's 
in a pretty bad way and he can't get much out 
of her. You know them Eyetahans. But he says 
he'll keep after her. Five judges and eight magis- 
trates called up. They all sounded pretty scared, 
and they was all our people. Gozo " 

"He could only Gozo far and no farther," 
muttered Loftus. 

"Oh, for Gawd's sake, shut up, all of you," 
yelled the Mayor. "Here there's an election com- 
ing on and Jerry Gozo's kicked by a horse in a 
pay terlet and I'm dying and nobody's got a shot 
and now I got to listen to lousy Class Z jokes 
from a half-witted lush. I tell you I can't stand 
it. Shut up, all of you." 



8 



3 



THE REST of the trip to Municipal Pier No. i 
was finished without words, and Loftus did not 
dare even to burp. At the bulkhead of the pier 
were massed the bands of the Police, Fire and 
Street Cleaning Departments, and at the ap- 
proach of the first motorcycle they burst out with 
the "Jolty John Rag" whose words: 

Jaunty Jolly Johnnie, you re the Mayor for us, 
For those darn Republicans we don't give a cuss, 
Oh, John, when you ring dem bells 
We just all break into yells. 
On the Board of Aldermen you were a bear, 
All the people know that you are fair and square, 
Oh, John, Johnnie Holtsapple, you re the Mayor 
for us 

l 9 



had been composed for the Mayor's 19 13 cam- 
paign by Dr. Otto Ringau, Director of Music in 
the Malta Public Schools (and a dry cleaner by 
profession) . The air was "Put Your Arms Around 
Me Honey, Hug Me Tight.' ' 

Returning the salutes of the police holding 
back the crowd by touching his gloves to his 
glossy hat brim the Mayor boarded the little mu- 
nicipal cutter, Fred N. Wrenker, which was al- 
ready filled to the rails with reporters and pho- 
tographers. Painfully he mounted the narrow 
stairs to the upper deck and advanced to the star- 
board rail just under the wheelhouse. It was a 
bright, hot day, and the sky was robin's egg and 
whipped cream. Malta's harbor, a deep, nearly 
perfect semi-circle, which patriotic enthusiasts 
claim is more beautiful than New York's or 
San Francisco's, was crowded with ocean liners 
butted along by ugly, ant-like tugs, swift, silent 
ferries, square-rigged Norwegians loaded with 
lumber, shabby tramps, excursion packets from 
the north, fishing smacks, oyster ketches, coal 
barges, dories, the snorting speedboats of million- 
aire commuters, all resplendent in the morning 
sun. 



20 



But this beauty was lost on the Mayor. His 
cheeks burned and felt as though they were strain- 
ing at a leash. Mike, his face a composite por- 
trait of agonized orang-utans, appeared at his side. 

"I been to every reporter and photographer on 
board, John," he said, "and so help me God, there 
ain't one of them got a drop. But you wait now, 
we'll be all set oncet we're on board." 

"Do you see those gulls over there?" said the 
Mayor, pointing to a flock wheeling and scream- 
ing about the stern of a Baltimore packet from 
which a Negro in an apron and cook's cap was 
emptying garbage. "Well, that's what my nerves 
feel like, see? Pheeew!" 

The Mayor removed his hat and mopped his 
brow. 

"By the way, who's this coming in this morn- 
ing? 

Mike opened his mouth, but just then some- 
body bore down on the cutter's whistle, directly 
aft, and the Mayor nearly jumped overboard. 
When the whistling had died down, Mike said: 
"It's Waldo is comin'." 

"Who?" 

"Waldo. Waldo, the Wrassler." 
21 



"Waldo, the Wrassler?" 

"Why, sure, Waldo. Ain't you read about 
Waldo? The papers has been full of him for 
weeks. He's a bear " 

"A what?" 

"Sure, a bear, a real live cinnamon bear. He 
wrassles. They clipped his claws off and put a 
muzzle on him and he wrassles. He's been all 
over Europe this summer throwin' wrassler after 
wrassler. And he's on the Bismarck this mornin\ 
Belongs to a fellah name Krentz that lives on 
Macy Boulevard over in the Sixteenth. A pro- 
moter. I thought you knew all about it. The 
papers 

"A bear! Oh, Gawd, I thought it was some 
aviator. Why 'n't you tell me? A bear, and me 
feeling like this. Pheeeeew!" 

"Well, now, John, take it easy now. Every- 
thing' 11 be all right oncet we get on board and 
I get hold of the chief steward. This here's a 
local bear and pertickally with the election comin' 
on and one thing and another it'll make a fine 
little human interest story, with pitchers and all. 
Maybe if you could take and pretend to wrassle 

with him for the boys like " 

22 



''All right, all right, I know. But a bear. 
Pheeeeew! I'm sure gonna need that shot." 

"That's the way to work in there. You know 
Jimmy Walker took on a boxin' kangaroo and 
you wouldn't want him to show us nothin'. 
Here we are now, let's get over this gangplank 
and be grabbin' that shot. I could use one meself, 
be God." 

Just outside the Captain's cabin they were 
met by the Captain himself, Herr Kapitan Ger- 
hard Nebel. 

"Ah, gentlemen," he said, "you come at a 
propizious moment. Your Federal offitzials are just 
maging one of their infreguent but exdensive raits 
on my ship. I presume they have tired of Eng- 
lish egsport visky and that stoff the Franch serve 
for vine on their boats, and they vant some real 
genoovine German schnapps, not? But you vait 
negst trip. I bring you spezial case of Rheinwein, 
and we all sauf it together, hey? You please egs- 
cuse me now. I got to confer with the Head 
Customs Surveyor." 

A snap of the heels, three quick bends at the 
waist, and the skipper hurried down a compan- 
lonway ladder. 

2 3 



At this juncture a mob of reporters and cam- 
eramen appeared on the sun deck and signalled 
the Official Welcoming Committee to descend. 

"Hey, Johnnie, come on down here and meet 
the guest of honor." 

Pheeeeew! The Mayor ducked around the 
wheelhouse and began pacing back and forth. He 
knew he would have to go down; but the way 
he felt — and a bear! Pheeeeew! 



24 



4 



MR. KRENTZ, Waldo's manager, was being 
interviewed. Waldo, a medium-sized brown bear, 
wearing purple trunks and a belt of oval gold 
plaques five inches high linked together, stood 
on his hind legs and alternately pawed the air and 
tried to remove the leather muzzle which covered 
his snout. 

"Yeah," Mr. Krentz was saying, "we cer- 
tainly cleaned up in Europe this summer. Threw 
'em all, didn't we, Waldo?" 

At the sound of his name the bear brought his 
right paw up in a smart salute and let forth a 
sharp grunt: 

"Rrruffl" 

"Yeah," went on Mr. Krentz, "we sure tossed 



'em — limies, frogs, spicks, wops, roosians, 
squareheads, polocks, litvacks and every kinda 
vack there is. Every country's got a champ, but 
they all looked alike to us, hey, Waldo?" 

"Rrmffl" 

"Waldo win the catch-as-catch-can champion- 
ship from Tonio Spinoli in Pans on May 22d at 
the Salle Wagram. And did we pack 'em in, hey, 
Waldo?" 

"Rrruff!" 

"And he win the Graeco-Roman from Sergei 
Semyenioff in Vienna on June 16th. That was a 
sell-out, too. It was all sell-outs. We was on the 
other side six weeks and win 38 matches. Now 
we're gonna clean up over here. Jack Curley's 
fixed it all up for us to meet Strangler Lewis in 
New York at the Garden on Labor Day, and 
we're sure gonna make that Kentucky Collegian 
go back to college and take a few more lessons, 
hey, Waldo?" 

"Ibmffl" 

"What are Waldo's measurements, Mr. 
Krentz?" 

"Well, he'll weigh between 280 and 290 when 
he's in shape. Right now with the sea trip and 

26 



the rich food he's kinda overweight; but it won't 
take him more'n two, three days in the gym to 
get down to 283, the weight he likes to work at. 
He's 5 feet, 1 1 ^4 ta ^- Chest 86 inches. Reach 56 
inches. You'll notice he's got short arms, even 
for a bear, but that's great for wrasslin'. Look at 
Caddock. Look at Londos. Look at Waldo. Short 
arms, all of 'em. That's how come he can get all 
that there leeverage, which is what counts in 
wrasslin'." 

"What holds can he put on an opponent?" 

"All of 'em: head lock, leg scissors, half nel- 
son, double nelson, toe-hold — the whole works. 
But his favorite is one we figured out ourself . The 
lean-to, we call it. Waldo just kind of ketches 
ahold of the other guy and leans on him and 
pretty soon something's bound to happen. If the 
guy falls on his belly Waldo just lays on him 
and it's either give up or sweat to death. Gimme 
your paw, Waldo. Paw!" 

The bear extended its right paw, pebbly, rub- 
bery triangles upwards. 

"You see, boys, we keep his claws filed off so's 
he can't hurt nobody. See? Feel that, soft as a 
— Hahzit, yer Honor?" 

2 7 



The Mayor posed with Waldo for the camera- 
men; shaking hands with Waldo, putting his 
arm around Waldo's shoulder (the Mayor's silk 
hat on the bear's head and the bear's champion- 
ship belt around the Mayor's middle) and, finally, 
facing Waldo in a wrestling crouch. For this the 
Mayor removed his coat, vest, tie and collar and 
bent over from the middle, his left hand extended 
in front of his right. He glowered at the bear. The 
bear glowered back. Flashlight guns boomed, and 
there were encouraging cries from the reporters. 

' Tut a headlock on him, Waldo." 

"Givem a flying bear, John." 

"Hurray for the little guy." 

"Wonder which one can grunt the loudest?" 

At last it was over and Mr. Krentz took Waldo 
below while the Official Welcoming Committee 
and the press boarded the cutter. In half an hour 
Mr. Krentz and Waldo appeared on the gang- 
plank. The bear was dressed in a morning coat, 
striped trousers, wing collar and tie, and as he 
shuffled along he tapped a cane tied to his left 
paw. The passengers lining the rails cheered. 

As it cast off from the liner, the cutter began 
tooting the official Malta welcome blast to the 

28 






tempo of 4l Shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits, shave- 
and-a-haircu t-two-bits , shave-and-a-haircut- two- 
bits," which was soon taken up by every craft 
in the harbor that had a boiler. When the Fred N. 
Wrenker pulled into the Municipal Pier, the 
Mayor saw that behind the spiles stood several 
thousand people. The official welcome blast, 
audible throughout the financial district, had sum- 
moned them from all sides. So, of course, he would 
have to ride uptown with this lousy Waldo. From 
the Pier the massed bands of the Police, Fire and 
Street Cleaning Departments burst into "Every- 
body's Doing It," with special fortissimo on the 
part that goes: "It's a bear, its a bear, it's a bear, 
bam!" 

"Pheeeeew!" 

Well, get in there and take it. 

Preceded by the band of the 41st Regiment 
of Infanty and a squadron of cavalry, the Mayor, 
Waldo and Mr. Krentz rode up Pine Street to 
the City Hall. Behind them were the massed 
bands of the Police, Fire and Street Cleaning De- 
partments and 300 police reserves. Next, in an- 
other of the city's Rolls-Royces rode Dr. Hinch- 
man, Loftus and Raffigan. Behind them the 200- 

29 



piece fife and drum band of the Catholic Boys' 
Brigade. Next came a float from the S.P.C.A. 
containing several stuffed horses drinking from 
papier-mache troughs with over the top a banner: 
"Waldo, Malta Welcomes You"; and along each 
side of the vehicle were large signs: "Be Kind to 
Our Dumb Friends." Behind the float marched 
detachments of Boy Scouts and Campfire Girls. 
A fleet of ambulances brought up the rear. 

As the parade passed through Pine Street a 
blizzard of ticker-tape descended, and the roars 
of the multitudes along the curbs echoed and re- 
echoed through the ferro-concrete canyon. An in- 
tact, untorn telephone book which hurtled down 
from a great height and kerwhammed on the floor 
of the car did not help the Mayor's state of be- 
ing. The three passengers in the Rolls took turns 
responding to the public enthusiasm. 

First Mr. Krentz would remove his derby. 
Then Waldo would solemnly raise his right paw 
to his head and lower it. To the paw a piece of 
black cardboard cut in the silhouette of a silk hat 
was fastened with rubber bands. And finally the 
Mayor would wearily doff his topper. 

"Pheeeeew!" 

3° 



On the City Hall steps a tall, glossy-haired 
young man was fussing with three microphones, 
and across the street the newsreel trucks were un- 
limbering for action. As Waldo, Mr. Krentz and 
the Official Welcoming Committee were driven 
up to the curb the crowd roared and four police 
captains ploughed a way through to the top step. 

Loftus was clumsily searching the tail pockets 
of his coat for the scroll. 

"I can't find it," he said at last. He burped 
and smiled childishly at the Mayor. 

"Well, for Gawd's sake, go ahead anyway," 
the Mayor whispered. Loftus took off his hat. 

"Ladeez and gen'lmen," he roared with the 
pitch and volume of a Joe Humphreys, "the 
Hon 'able John Norris Holtsapple, Mayor of the 
Greater City of Malta, and baaaaup!" 

Roars from the crowd. After he had trem- 
blingly pinned the Distinguished Guests' Medal 
(a Maltese spaniel couchant on a Maltese Cross) 
the Mayor cleared his throat and said: 

"Waldo, I, as Mayor of this great city, need 
not tell you how proud we are of you not only 
as a fellow Maltese but as an American. You and 
your manager, Mr. Krentz, have already wit- 

3 1 



nessed the place you have won in all our hearts 
as you rode here to the City Hall with the Mayor. 
But I, as this city's chief magistrate, want to say 
that we were all behind you as you bore the Stars 
and Stripes through country after country and 
never let the Old Flag fall. Malta has always been 
the Mecca of sport, and whenever we produced 
a champion we all of us felt a share in the cham- 
pionship. And I want to say, as Mayor of this 
Greater City, that we all hope you'll bear down 
on your rivals and bring back a world's champion- 
ship to the championship city of the world." 

"RrruQV said Waldo. 

The crowd waited to watch the Official Wel- 
coming Committee pile into the Rolls-Royce, 
which had remained at the curb during the cere- 
monies. 

"Club," yelled the Mayor into the speaking 
tube at Dr. Hinchman's right, "and step on it. 
Oh, Gawd, for a shot to get the smell of bear 
off me." 

The Mayor passed through the lobby of the 
Malta Democratic Club and up the stairs. Man 
after man rose to follow him. It was a ritual, this 
first of the day with good old John, and no mem- 

32 






ber would think of tasting even so much as a 
pretzel off the bar until he arrived. 

Carrying several menus in his hand, a flunky, 
skidding a few paces in front of the Mayor, un- 
locked a door on the second floor at the end of 
the hall, opened it and bowed His Honor through. 

"Pheeeeew, am I gonna enjoy this!" said the 
Mayor to all and sundry as he stood, with his left 
foot on the rail, at the exact center of the bar. 
4 'How many, Louis? " 

The headwaiter looked at the little counting 
gadget in his left hand and murmured something. 
The Mayor caught the head bartender's eye. 

"Seventy-five Martinis," he said. 



33 



5 



AT 2:15 PHILLIP DORSEY and his law clerk, 
Tom Newlun, entered Room 12 at City Hall 
where the regular weekly meeting of the Board 
of Estimate and Apportionment was to begin in 
a quarter of an hour. These meetings were usually 
crowded, and Dorsey was glad he had come a 
little early. He and Newlun were able to slip into 
the last two empty seats in the front row of the 
semi-circular wooden structure which gave the 
room the appearance of a demonstration theater 
in a medical school. Facing the horseshoe was a 
long table, already occupied by eight of the ten 
members of the board: the Comptroller, Milton 
Wimpel, short and swarthy, smiling, bespec- 
tacled, fig-cheeked; and the seven District Presi- 

34 



dents. Malta's charter provided for the quadren- 
nial election of a District President by each section 
of the city — East Side, West Side, North Side, 
South Side, and the three suburbs, Stitchleigh, 
Dorking and Magnusson. A District President 
was a kind of super-alderman ($20,000 a year), 
privileged to sit in at these meetings and entitled 
to one vote whenever the affairs of the body called 
for a decision. The District Presidents were also 
ex-officio members of the Board of Aldermen. 
They always looked as though they had just risen 
from a Christmas dinner. 

Hardly had the two settled in their seats when 
about two dozen policemen headed by an in- 
spector with fierce jaws marched in and took posts 
about the room. Dorsey noticed that they carried 
long, wicked nightsticks, even the three sergeants 
among them. 

"Awright, awright, roll 'em in," the inspector 
snarled. Six men and eight women, all poorly 
dressed, entered somewhat uncertainly. A small 
cardboard banner: "Workers of the World 
Unite," which one of the women carried, was 
immediately confiscated by the inspector, handed 
to a patrolman and removed from the room. 

35 



"Awright," shouted the inspector, "awright. 
Set back there and keep quiet." 

He pointed to a vacant row for the newcomers 
to occupy. 

"Communists?" said Dorsey. "I wonder what 
they're here for." 

"Oh, something to do with the garment strike, 
guess. 

Then, what seemed to Dorsey a strange min- 
gling of Malta's womanhood arrived in a large 
group: little elderly ladies of the Garden Club 
variety, with glad, glad expressions and funny 
hats that squatted on top of their coiffures, trotted 
beside and around big, coarse Amazons, heavy- 
jowled, cold-eyed, red-knuckled. With their com- 
ing the noise in the room increased a hundredfold 
as the harsh rasps of the Amazons cut through 
the gentle twitterings of the little ladies. Nobody 
herded them into their seats. Indeed, Dorsey no- 
ticed the inspector touch his cap in salute to 
several of the larger Amazons as they stomped by. 
Soon nearly all the seats in the semi-circular struc- 
ture were filled, and the room became so warm 
that Dorsey had to wipe his perspiration-blurred 
pince-nez with his handkerchief. 

36 



Through a door behind the long table Alder- 
manic President Harne Satchells entered, tall and 
lean, sleepy and handsome. 

It occurred to Dorsey that Satchells looked 
little older than when they had left Princeton to- 
gether, twenty years before. Not a gray hair in 
his head. Funny. There had been some the last 
time. Must be dyeing it. "Sleepy" Satchells. Not 
only Handsomest Man in the Class of '09 but 
also One Most Likely to Succeed. Certainly he 
was handsome still, but had he succeeded? In a 
worldly way, decidedly, Dorsey admitted — Pres- 
ident of the Board of Aldermen at forty-one, 
picked overwhelmingly in the last primaries as 
his party's candidate for Mayor in the fall. Quite 
the popular hero, altogether. But really? That de- 
pended on one's definition of success. Ever since 
his wife's death Satchells had pretty much let 
himself go, to be honest about him. Shown prom- 
ise at the bar before then, no question about it, 
but shortly thereafter he drifted into politics, just 
lazing along as he did everything, waiting for the 
rewards to be brought on a silver salver. Well, 
they'd been brought, all right, and now he was 
a front for that thug, McQuilty. How could a 

37 



man of education and good family get tied up with 
a lot of rotten politicians like that? American poli- 
tics, the Lord knew, needed men of education 
and good family, all that could be had. But when 
they went over to the bosses without a struggle 
and deliberately prostituted that education and 
family background? And all the talk about Satch- 
ells' carryings-on with women. How could any 
man who considered himself a gentleman do such 
a thing! 

Dorsey inhaled and blew out through his teeth, 
audibly, and began to give himself a manicure 
with the caudal appendage of the Phi Beta Kappa 
key that hung from his watch-chain. 

Heavy-lidded, Satchells surveyed the room, 
caught sight of Dorsey, shouted at him above the 
din and beckoned him over to the long table. 
Dorsey shook hands stiffly and unsmiling. 

"Hello, kid," said Satchells, "you didn t get 
up for reunion, did you." 

"No," said Dorsey, "I was trying a case and 
couldn't make it." 

"Too bad. You missed a swell time. Pretty 
nearly everybody turned up and they all asked 
for you. I told 'em you were our leading exponent 

38 



of civic virtue and the coming City Manager.'' 

Satchells grinned and Dorsey blushed. 

"Yes, you missed a swell time. After it was 
all over we had quite a party in New York. 
Charlie Grant and Fritz Von Tanneck, you re- 
member them? Well, they got out their little 
red books and fixed us up with some of the raciest 
ladies it has ever been my privilege to race with. 
All in all it was quite a race. I will say for myself, 
though, that I gave out just about as many dark 
circles under the eyes as I took." 

"Hmm, I daresay," put in Dorsey hastily. 
"I'm certain you enjoyed yourself every minute. 
By the way, have you any idea when this meeting 
is likely to begin?" 

"Well, as usual, we're waiting for the Mayor. 
He ought to waddle in any minute between now 
and six o'clock. May I ask why you're favoring 
us with your presence?" 

"Oh, I'm here for the Civic Association to 
argue against those condemnations that come up 
today. May I have a calendar? Thanks. Well, 
I'd better get back to my seat before somebody 
takes it. Let's have lunch together sometime. I 
know you're bowed down by official duties, but 

39 



give me a call if you get a chance. I'm nearly 
always at the Civic Association if I'm not at my 
office." 

"Fine, Dearsie, I'd love to." 

Dorsey glared and then turned on his heel. He 
could feel his cheeks burn as he walked back to 
his seat. Dearsie. It had been fastened on him at 
Princeton. How he loathed it! Satchells undoubt- 
edly used it in revenge for that perfectly harmless 
remark about being bowed down by official duties. 
Dorsey was still self-conscious of his face: large 
myopic blue eyes that grew larger with excite- 
ment or alarm, a sharp, pointed nose with fine- 
cut wings, a tiny mouth and pink cheeks. His 
face and a nervous habit of murmuring "Oh 
dear!" in a high-pitched voice had earned him the 
detested nickname before his first Midyears rolled 
by. Dearsie! The high voice he had rid himself 
of by singing lessons and the "Oh, dears" had 
been expunged long ago from his vocabulary. The 
doll's mouth was now hidden under a red mous- 
tache, and nose glasses focussed the wandering, 
startled eyes. But his cheeks were still pink — 
childishly, absurdly, reprehensibly pink, and at 
this moment they were even pinker from the old 

4° 



taunt. Dearsie! Dorsey glared at Satchells, but 
the Aldermanic President was yelling something 
at Comptroller Wimpel. 

Dorsey's annoyance was transmuted to con- 
tempt as he ran his eye over the nine men at the 
long table. So this was the Board of Estimate and 
Apportionment! The Board of Directors, really, 
of the Greater City of Malta Corporation, an or- 
ganization that spent more than half a billion dol- 
lars a year and employed better than a hundred 
thousand men and women. And the Mayor and 
those nine men there were the head and fount of 
the whole vast concern, in charge of raising the 
money and spending it. They drew up the budget 
and fixed the tax rate (or saw that it was fixed) , 
decided on all improvements, created new offices 
or abolished them (and far, far too little abolish- 
ing) , held sway over all grants and franchises. 
The oligarchy that ruled the city's sprawling 
millions. And what manner of men were they? 
President of this vast corporation, the Mayor, a 
drunken windbag. Then Wimpel, the treasurer, 
once a shady accountant who had barely escaped 
indictment in his early days over some bucket 
shop fraud. Satchells, McQuilty's tool, indolent, 

4 1 



cynical and probably a lecher. And the seven 
District Presidents, all mere party pawns, political 
robots. What an admirable body of statesmen! 

Dorsey indignantly pulled out his fountain 
pen, looked at the clock and began figuring what 
the Mayor's tardiness was costing the taxpayers. 
Salaries: Mayor, $40,000; Wimpel, $30,000; 
Satchells, $25,000; seven District Presidents, at 
$20,000 each, $140,000 — total, $235,000. 
Nearly a quarter million dollars. Divide by 365 
times twenty-four times sixty for the worth of a 
minute of their combined time and then multi- 
ply the quotient by forty-five, the number of 
minutes already wasted. But before Dorsey had 
determined on even his divisor, there was a gen- 
eral rising on all sides of him as the Mayor him- 
self entered. 



42 



6 



THE HON. JOHN NORRIS HOLTSAPPLE 
was feeling wonderful. Wonderful, wonderful, 
wonderful, wonderful! He had just come from a 
wonderful lunch with the most wonderful fellows 
in the most wonderful club in the whole wonder- 
ful world, and it was apparent to every one at the 
long table, as he greeted each of them by name 
and shook hands all around, that he had magnifi- 
cently succeeded in checking every last trace of 
bear odor. Sinking into his great, soft chair he felt 
so delightfully warm and calm and full of loving- 
kindness towards humanity as a whole that he 
yearned to share his happiness with the universe. 
He beamed about him, picked up his gavel and 
thumped. 

43 



"Calla roll." 

Satchells looked at the Mayor with shrewd ap- 
praisement. Yep, just nicely bedoozled. You 
could tell from the way his fat-flaps, those isosceles 
triangles with their apexes at the sides of the 
nose and their bases under the cheek bones, 
emerged. Straps of supra-lard that came out on 
John's face after he had taken on a load, they were 
as prophetic as the little man and woman in a 
Swiss weather house. 

Satchells had charted many permutations and 
combinations of these fat-flaps. From long practice 
he could tell by a short study of them whether 
the Mayor's mood was choleric, beatific, loqua- 
cious, pugnacious, verbose or comatose. It all de- 
pended on how much or how little they stuck 
out. (On the night of Woodrow Wilson's election 
in 1 9 1 2 they had stuck out like twin loaves of 
freshly baked bread.) If they were entirely ab- 
sent, it meant that the Mayor had not yet had a 
drink that day and was therefore overhung, there- 
fore nasty. This condition was extremely rare, 
for he almost always lunched at the Democratic 
Club on board meeting days. But no matter how 
much or how little they were visible, no matter 

44 



what his mood, their presence indicated one un- 
failing symptom — a breakdown in grammar. 
Half a dozen cocktails and the Mayor's gram- 
mar, with which he had taken tremendous pains, 
went all to hell. 

"Milt," the Mayor said, "who's all those won- 
derful little ladies out there?" 

Wimpel opened his calendar and pointed to 
an entry: 

"I guess that would be them." 

The Mayor looked at the page fixedly and 
then said: 

"Read it, Milt, forgot a glasses.' ' 

Running a forefinger under the words Wimpel 
began to chant in a clipped sing-song: 

'A local law to amend the Greater Malta 
Charter relating to the abolition of the rank and 
grade of patrolwoman in the Police Department 
and transferring the duties of said rank and grade 
to policewoman.' Here's the communications 
protesting against the law, and I guess them 
dames is from the organizations that sent 'em. 
Here they come: 

Patrolwomen's Benevolent Association of the 
City of Malta, Inc. 

45 



American Alliance of Civil Service Women, 
Malta Chapter. 

Women s City Club of Malta. 

Malta Federated Ladies' Lyceum. 

Magnusson Women's Court Alliance. 

East Side Women's Constitutional Commit- 
tee, Inc. 

Malta Catholic Big Sisters, Inc. 

Associated Alumnae, Malta University. 

Women's Alliance, Pine Street Unitarian 
Church. 

Malta City League of Women Voters. 

Malta Prison Matrons' Council. 

Malta Ladies' Bar Bell Association. 

Ladies' Auxiliary of the Malta Lions' Club. 

"I guess that cleans 'em up, John." 

The Mayor wiped his brow, took a deep 
breath and pulled himself together. 

He rapped with his gavel. 

"Order, order," he began in his best radio 
voice, somewhat blurred. "Good afternoon, ladies. 
Your Mayor's delighted to see you with us this 
afternoon. This is reg'lar weekly meeting of the 
Board of Es'mate and Apportio'ment of the 
Grea'er City of Malta. You probaly doan know 

4 6 



what the Board of Es'mate and Apportio'ment is, 
so I'll tell you. The Board of Es'mate and Ap- 
portio'ment is the upper branch of the Municipal 
Assembly. When I say upper I mean upper 'cause 
the lower half is the Board of Aldermen. Ha, ha, 
ha. And when I say upper I sure mean upper, 
doan I boys?" 

He turned to the other members of the Board 
for confirmation. 

"Hear, hear!" 

"You tell 'em, John." 

"Upper is right." 

"Yes, ladies of the invisible audience, I sure 
mean upper. Why? Many reasons, many, many 
reasons. Firs' reason: Alderman elec'ed for only 
two years. How long we elec'ed? Four years. 
Four years, friends. How much Alderman get? 
Fi'e thousand dollars. Fi'e lousy thousy dollies, 
ladies, thass all, fi'e thousy lousy dollies. You'd 
hardly think they could eat on that, could you, 
friends? And let me tell you, they can't, friends, 
many of them poor fellows can't hardly keep body 
nor soul together." 

Overcome by emotion, the Mayor bowed his 
head and shook it sadly from side to side. 

47 



"Read minutes of las' meeting," he croaked. 
His order was carried out by the board's clerk 
from whose mouth words poured as sausage stuff- 
ing pours from a machine; and these words would 
have been totally unintelligible had anybody 
cared to listen. 

"Ladies," the Mayor resumed, "I'm deligh'ed 
see you. I'm always deligh'ed to see a lady. Thass 
me alia time. I doan care if she's white or black, 
Democrat or Repub'ican. It ain't the race with 
me, friends, it's the lady. I doan care if she's 
Protes'ant or Cath'lic, I doan care if she's a Jew 
or Gentile, I doan care if she's Chinaman or 
Jap, I doan care if she's rich or poor, I doan care 
if she's drunk or sober. Just so long she's ioo per 
cent American and a lady." 

In his emotion the Mayor started to get up from 
his chair, but thought better of it and sank back 
with a heavy cushion whoosh. When the ladies 
had finished applauding, a skinny little man with 
a bald head and white bone-rimmed spectacles rose 
among the Communists. The extra-thick lenses of 
the spectacles made his eyes look like some insect's 
under a microscope. 

"Wat bonk," he shouted. "WAT BONK! 
48 



WAT ONHADDOLTERETTED BONK! 
PHOOEY!" 

"Shut up there, you," roared the inspector, 
running up the aisle to get at him. "Siddown. 
Shut up. Whaddaya mean interruptin' the Mayor 
when he's talkin'?" 

Shaking his fist, he stood at the end of the 
aisle in which the little Communist sat. 

"Any morea that and I'll haveya outa here, 
see? Before ya know what happentya, see? So shut 
up and siddown and stay there, and don't lemme 
hear no more outya, see?" 

After a few mutterings the little Communist 
was silent. 

"Oh, it's bunk, is it?" took up the Mayor. 
"Bunk, hey? I'll show you the Mayor means 
what he says. I'll show you the Mayor's always 
glad to hear from a lady, any lady, so long she's 
a lady. Le's hear what these ladies gotta say. 
Whattaya gotta say, ladies? Speak up, some you 
ladies, and show our friend up there what kinda 
bunk it is." 

In the front row a dumpy woman in a badly 
tailored tweed suit whose cropped gray hair made 
her look rather like a dissolute, unsuccessful poet 

49 



of middle age rose, took some papers out of a brief 
case and advanced towards the long table. 

"If Your Honor and members of the Board of 
Estimate and Apportionment please," she began, 
"we have come here today to protest against Item 
No. 2 in the calendar: 'A Local Law to amend the 
Greater Malta Charter relating to the abolition of 
the rank and grade of patrolwoman in the Police 
Department and transferring the duties of said 
rank and grade to policewoman/ 

"Now, Your Honor and gentlemen, what are 
the facts in this case? In the Policewomen's Bu- 
reau of the Police Department there are one hun- 
dred and twelve women enrolled, of whom twelve 
hold the rank and grade of patrolwoman and the 
remaining hundred the rank and grade of police- 
woman. How are these hundred policewomen em- 
ployed? Simply as prison matrons, Your Honor 
and gentlemen. They fulfill no other duties, save 
that of receiving and locking up and thereafter 
guarding female prisoners in the prisons and jails 
of the clty. ,, 

"Grea'er City." 

"Excuse me, Your Honor, Greater City, of 
course. The policewomen merely serve as prison 

5° 



matrons in the prisons and jails throughout the 
Greater City. But what do the patrolwomcn of the 
Greater City of Malta's Police Department do, 
Your Honor and gentlemen, what are their du- 
ties? Oh, if I only had more of your valuable time 
to recount in detail all or even half of the wonder- 
ful services that those dozen patrolwomen render 
the taxpayers of the Greater City of Malta! But 
I know that Your Honor and gentlemen have 
other onerous matters before you, conducting as 
you do the affairs of this, one of the greatest cities 
on the face of the globe." 

"What you mean, one of the grea'est?" 
"Excuse me, Your Honor, the greatest city on 
the face of the globe, of course. There you sit, 
gentlemen, burdened with our affairs, deciding on 
the best and most efficient way to educate our 
kiddies, keep our rolling boulevards clean and 
paved, look after our beautiful parks with their 
gorgeous shade trees, collect our garbage, run our 
ferry boats and buses and take care of us in a 
thousand other ways that I won't impinge on your 
valuable time to enumerate more fully. But what 
is the most important of all your duties? What to 
you, Your Honor, and to you, gentlemen, comes 

5 1 



before all else? What is your foremost considera- 
tion as public servants?" 

"Hmm, gat rehalected," suggested the little 
Communist. 

Once more the inspector bounded up the aisle. 

"Siddown, siddown. Shut up, shut up. Listen, 
you, speak once more outa toin and I take yez, 
see? One more time and it'll be just too bad, see? 
Now shut up and be quiet, see? Shut up and be 
quiet." 

"No, Your Honor and gentlemen, what our 
friend said when he interrupted me is not your 
first duty to our citizenry. You have been elected 
and re-elected, all of you, and if you weren't de- 
serving of your offices, Your Honor and gentle- 
men, you wouldn't be where you are this after- 
noon — there at the head of the government of 
our Greater City." 

"Say, wha's your name?" 

"Rose Bnx, Your Honor." 

"Say, you're awright. Make a note the lady's 
name, Milt. Din' I tellya I always like see a lady? 
Where you live, lady?" 

"I live in Dorking, Your Honor." 

"Dorking, hey? How you vote?" 

5 2 



"Why, uh, Republican, Your Honor, I'm a 
Commit tee woman from the Twenty-sixth." 

"Well, go on with your spiel, and don't waste 
so much taxpayers' time." 



"I was soins to, Your Honor " 

"Well, go on, go on. Don't be takin' up so 
much taxpayers' time." 

"Yes, Your Honor. Now, Your Honor and 
gentlemen, as I was saying, what is your first duty 
to our citizenry? Your first duty, Your Honor and 
gentlemen, is the protection of property, life and 
morals. Whom do you designate to protect prop- 
erty? You designate those unsung heroes of to- 
day, those stalwarts who stand ready at all hours 
of the day and night, in all weathers, be it rain, 
hail, snow or sleet " 

"I know," shouted the little Communist, "de 
Stntt Clinic Depottment!" 

But Miss Bnx went on before the inspector 
could get at him. 

"The Fire Department, Your Honor and gen- 
tlemen. Women have not yet been privileged to 
serve in the Fire Department, but the day will 
come, I know, when they will take their places 
with men and fight shoulder to shoulder against 

53 



the demon flames. But there is another force 
marching under the banners of the city, the 
Greater City, where they have been privileged to 
serve, Your Honor and gentlemen, and that is the 
Police Department. I do not speak here of the 
hundred policewomen. They do a splendid work, 
a splendid, splendid work, which no one can gain- 
say. They need no pleading for. It is those twelve 
patrolwomen that I am here today to plead for, 
Your Honor and gentlemen. It is their work that 
I want to tell you of. 

"What are the duties of a patrolwomzn, Your 
Honor and gentlemen? Does she protect prop- 
erty? She does. In her tours of duty about the 
Greater City, should she see fire break out or 
thieves break in, she gives the alarm or makes the 
arrest exactly as a male patrolman or detective 
would under the same circumstances. Last year 
patrolwomen made ten arrests for felonies of vio- 
lent nature, which included assault, robbery and 
burglary. Seven of them were made by Patrol- 
woman Hannah McMurtraw, who is here today. 
Will you please be so good as to stand up, Officer 
McMurtraw?" 

An Amazon wearing a black sailor hat rose in 

54 



the third row and smirked grimly at the Board 
of Estimate and Apportionment with her killer's 
mouth. 

"Patrol woman McMurtraw on five occasions 
arrested desperate, armed men single-handed. She 
is by way of being a star athlete and has won 
many medals for exhibitions in punching the bag. 
Alarms for sixty-one fires were turned in by mem- 
bers of this splendid body of women during the 
last year, and property estimated at several hun- 
dreds of thousands of dollars was saved. Yes, Your 
Honor and gentlemen, the patrolwomtn have pro- 
tected and do protect life and property and with 
your consent they will go on continuing to do so. 
But now I come to the greatest of their protective 
tasks. What is that, Your Honor and gentlemen? 
What is worth more than property, and more even 
than life itself? It is morals, Your Honor and 
gentlemen. Morals! Without their safeguarding, 
our city, Malta, our Greater City, the greatest 
city on the face of the globe, would be as the cities 
of the plain. Without morals in a community, 
there can be no purity of womanhood. Without 
purity of womanhood, men cannot strive for the 
higher things of life that go to make our com- 

55 



munity great. And, Your Honor and gentlemen, 
I solemnly warn you that there can be no Purity 
of womanhood in the Greater City of Malta with- 
out patrolwomen!" 

The furious handclapping of the ladies drowned 
out the concerted boos of the Communists. 

''And how, Your Honor and gentlemen," 
Miss Bnx continued, "do our patrolwomen toil 
and struggle ceaselessly to safeguard the purity of 
our womanhood? Oh, if I only had sufficient time 
to tell you the thousand and one ways in which 
this noble work is carried on! But time being 
limited " 

"Oh, don't mind us," said the Mayor nastily. 
He was beginning to feel the need for a shot. 

Pheeeew! 

"Thank you, Your Honor. The foremost duty 
of our dozen gallant patrolwomen is the combating 
of mashers. During the past year mashers, those 
jeopardizes of virtue, those draggers-in-the-dust 
of the good name of chastity, those cads unworthy 
of the name of men — mashers to the number of 
829 were arrested, more than two a day, by our 
patrolwomen after proper evidence had been ob- 
tained. Convictions " 

56 



"How they get th' evidence?" 

"Why, uh, Your Honor, in most cases the 
mashers, uh, accosted, or, uh, flirted with the 
patrolwomen in some way." 

His Honor glanced at Officer Hannah McMur- 
traw. 

"Pheeeew!" 

"I will pass over the twenty-one cases in which 
men were arrested after behaving in a peculiar 
manner, and come to the splendid work done in 
our dance halls. During " 

"Tell 'em about the raid on the boit' control 
clinic," screamed a tall, dark girl with burning 
brown eyes who had suddenly jumped to her feet 
in the Communist row. "Tell 'em about how a 
policewoman stool pigeon went there and esked 
for halp and efter the doctor give it to her she went 
and had the place pinched. Tell 'em how they 
raided it because the doidy, rotten cap't'lists din't 
want the woikers to get no more boit' control m- 
famation so's they could go on breedm' more 
woikin' stiffs and more cannon fodder. Whyn't 
you tell 'em about that? Never mind about the 
meshers and the dence halls " 

All the Communists were standing on their 

57 



chairs, roaring and screaming and waving their 
arms. 

The Mayor rose and bellowed above the din. 

"As usu'l the taxpayers can't agree. 'Sa plain 
disgrace. Waste all afternoon peoples' time." 

He signalled to the inspector. 

"Clear the room." 

The Mayor disappeared through the door be- 
hind the long table, and the other members of the 
board followed him hastily. 

"Go get 'em," yelled the inspector and blew 
his whistle. The cops dashed up one aisle and the 
Communists shoved and clawed one another to get 
out of their row and escape down the other. More 
cops blocked this aisle. Women began to scream. 
Phillip Dorsey heard feet advancing down the 
stone flags of the corridor at the double. It sounded 
like many feet. Whistles were shrilling all over 
the place. The aisles were choked with women. 
Blue shoulders butted through them. Dorsey saw 
nightsticks go up and back and down. Two rows 
behind Dorsey a plainclothesman in a checked cap 
chasing the little goggle-eyed Communist with a 
blackjack trod on the toe of one of the sailor- 
hatted Amazons. It was Patrolwoman McMur- 

58 



traw, and she ran her nails down his face. The 
plainclothesman fetched her a clout on the hat 
with his blackjack, tearing a bite from the brim. 
Feinting with her left, Patrolwoman McMurtraw 
threw a superb overhand right to the plainclothes- 
man 5 s chin. 

Newlun cheered from the aisle. 

"A beeg cigah," he chanted in carnival barker 
tones, "a beeg cigah foah the ladee each and every 
time she hits the little button. Hur-ry, hur-ry, 
hur-ry! Try youah luck, ladeez. A beeg cigah foah 
each and every ladee " 

"Oh, so it's funny to you, is it?" said Patrol- 
woman McMurtraw, walking towards him over 
the plainclothesman 's body. "A fresh guy, eh?" 

Bong! 

"Look here, my good woman/' said Phillip 
Dorsey as he stooped over to pick the boy up, but 
just then something very hot burned into the back 
of his head and three yellow pin-wheels whirled 
through the dark and broke into little pieces and 



o 



piece* 



fell down and down and down. 



59 



7 



'TIME TO VAKE OP, baby," Harrie Satchells 
heard a voice say. 

He opened his eyes and saw Inge smiling down 
at him. Her left knee was on the bed and she hung 
over him, supporting herself on outstretched arms, 
her hands on either side of his shoulders. With a 
swift motion, she bent down and brushed his lips 
with a kiss and then drew back. 

"You so beyootiful asleep, I hate to vake you," 
she said, softly. 

Inge's eyes were moistly bright blue. Her skin 
was fresh and pink as though it had been scoured 
for hours, and her yellow hair was gathered back 
tight on her skull. Harrie Satchells loved to have 
a woman hanging over him like this. He raised up 

60 



his arms to seize her but she dodged and slid off 
the bed, laughing. 

"No, baby, no, no. You most get op, it's late." 
There was a loud spup and sizzle from the kitchen- 
ette. "Oh, your eggs and bacon is burning." 

As she ran from the room, Satchells looked at 
the back of her neck, just below where the corn- 
flour hair was gathered with beautiful neatness. 
Pink and white! He never ceased to be amazed at 
the cleanness of her. It was as though she had just 
come from a steambath. And as she was a mas- 
seuse by profession, Inge usually had. 

He got out of bed, slid his feet into the red 
leather slippers set neatly side by side on the floor 
and clacked into the bathroom. Under the shower 
he tried to whistle, but the water trickled down 
his face and between his puckered lips, and all he 
produced was a bubbling noise. When the cold 
needles stabbed his flesh, he shadow-boxed for five 
seconds, trying the old Dempsey bob-and- weave, 
and then landed on the mat with a shout. After 
a rubdown, he opened the mirrored door of the 
medicine cabinet, drew out a leather roll full of 
toilet articles, brushed his teeth, and then pro- 
ceeded to shave himself with great care. This done, 

6l 



and witch hazel and powder applied, he combed 
his damp hair down over his eyes. It was peculiar 
hair — crow black with the gray powdered through 
it as though shaken from a saltcellar. How to part 
it? Parted on the left side, it showed up black, 
patent leather; on the right the gray came out 
plainly. Parting in the middle produced a salt and 
pepper mixture. What was on tonight? Hm, 
Thursday. Oh, yes, the gals, the Y.W.H.B.S.A. 
The big teeth of the comb ploughed a furrow 
down the left side. When the final lick of the 
brush had been made over the right ear, he bent 
close to the mirror and examined both profiles, 
then full face, with chin high and a faraway look 
in his eye like a field marshal in a battle painting. 
Then he smiled at himself and winked. After he 
had donned a pair of lounging pajamas hanging 
from a hook on the wall, he reviewed himself in 
the full length mirror on the door. Pretty slick, 
this black pair, with the red stripes down the 
trouser leg. And that jacket was good, too, with 
the tasseled silk belt around the middle. This pair 
was really more becoming than the blue ones at 
Elsie's. Satisfied, he snapped off the light and 
opened the door. 

62 



After he had kissed Inge and been uh-uhed, he 
sat down, gulped his orange juice and opened the 
Preh-Register. 

"Wonder if there's any more about the Com- 
munist riot at City Hall yesterday," he said. He 
stopped chewing his toast. "Good God Al- 
mighty!" 

"Wot's de matter, baby," said Inge, putting 
down the percolator. 

"Great dangling beards of God! Will you listen 
to this. Dear, sweet — Listen: 

! 'More than half a million dollars worth of 
heroin and other narcotics were seized last night 
when Federal authorities raided a waterfront ware- 
house belonging to Giuseppe (Jerry) Gozo, Dem- 
ocratic leader and alleged bootlegger, less than 
eighteen hours after he was found killed under 
strange circumstances in the men's room at the 
Grand Union Depot.' 

"Oh, is that beautiful! Zowie! Let me read it 
again and see if I'm not cockeyed. 'Heroin and 
other narcotics . . . raid . . . belonging to Giuseppe 
(Jerry) Gozo, Democratic leader and alleged 
(alleged, hell) bootlegger.' What a lovely, lovely 
little news item! Oh, come to Harrie." 

63 



Satchells planted a loud smack on the news- 
paper. 

" Lis ten. . . . hm, hm, hm. They raided the 
joint at 10:30 and busted open a flock of pickle 
barrels. Each barrel had a watertight tin of junk 
in it . . . hm . . . the stuff was consigned to 
the Eureka Food Products Corporation that the 
wop used as a blind for his chain of cordial shoppes. 
. . . 'One of the most important drug seizures 
the Government has ever made in this city,' 
United States Attorney Jonas L. Napier described 
last night's raid/ . . . What's he mean one of 
the most important? Oh, Mr. Jonas L. Napier, 
you sweet-scented Santa Claus, how I love you. 
. . . hm, hm, hm, describes the raid and the 
stuff. . . . some more crap about Gozo's death. 
. . . hm. . . . 

" 'Dr. Horace M. Ultman, Chief Medical 
Examiner, reported to the police late yesterday 
afternoon that the blow over Gozo's left eye, 
which undoubtedly caused his death, was made 
not by a horseshoe, as was at first thought, but by 
the shoe of a pony. How the pony arrived at the 
scene of the crime at all, much less without being 
observed, is still a mystery. The police are trying 

64 



to fit together the equestrian and narcotic clues, 
but so far with little success.' 

"Ah-ha-ha-ha, oh, God, I'll die. I have it, 
Watson! The pony is a hophead and he feels bad 
and sneaks into the Gent's Room to take a quick 
powder. He puts a nickel in the slot, but the door 
won't open, so he gets frantic and jumps over the 
door. There he finds Gozo. It's well known that 
a drug addict will do anything when you get be- 
tween him and his shot. So he ups with his heels 
and bam! A straight left to the eye! Gozo falls 
dead. The pony takes a quick sniff of the powder. 
It makes him feel so good he floats right up to 
the ceiling and out of the building without so 
much as a trace. The Street Cleaning Department 
is baffled." 

"Wot? I do not onderstand. ,, 

"You wouldn't, you're too sweet. 'Gozo's past 
record . . .' hm, hm, hm. Oh, and listen to 
THIS: 

; 'Called at his suite at the Schlitz-Monopol 
last night, Mayor Holtsapple said he knew noth- 
ing of the raid, but that all he was interested in 
was conducting the affairs of the city according to 
the best traditions of ioo per cent Americanism. 

65 



'America and Malta First," said the Mayor. 
"I know the people of this great city will give us 
a vouch for the way we have looked out for their 
interests in the past sixteen years.' 

"Give us a vouch! Oh, dear, sweet Jehovah! 
Give us a vouch! Ingeborg, my beautiful, square- 
head gorgeous, come over here and give the next 
Mayor of the Greater City of Malta the very 
loveliest vouch you know how to." 

"Oh, yays, sir," said Ingeborg, "I vill." 



66 



8 



SITTING AT THE PLACE of honor at the 

speakers' table in the banquet hall of the Grand 

Maltesan Hotel, Satchells ashed his cigarette and 

then dropped it into his demi-tasse. 

So this was the Grand Get Together Dinner of 

the Young Women's Harrie B. Satchells Associa- 
te 

tion, was it? For the past hour he had run a prac- 
ticed eye over the several thousand happy faces 
before him trying to find some pleasingness of 
color or contour. In vain. Lady politicians, he re- 
flected sadly, have little or no affinity with beauty. 
Nope, no tousle material there. But perhaps that 
was just as well, to have it absent entirely from 
your business. There was tousle material enough 
outside office hours, God knew, some for every 

67 



night in the week. That New York trip after re- 
union had made a nice change. Did Dearsie ever 
think about women? Naw, too married and re- 
spectable. He had been married once, too. Very- 
long ago, it seemed. Malta's Most Eligible Wid- 
ower. Ha! He wondered how Florrie was and how 
awful it would be if she really knew the truth 
about her poor old father. Maybe she'd like it 
when he was Mayor. Sure, she would. Who 
wouldn't? Everybody would, including about 
3,000 of those dames right out there in front. 
And if he got elected they'd all be around with 
their hands out. So this was what he'd left Inge's 
sweet, soft side for. 

Satchells blew through his distended lips and 
made a soft ruffling noise of disgust: 

"Prrrrooo." 

And yet all those awful lookers out there were 
somebody's daughters, too. Some father probably 
loved each and every one of 'em, felt the same way 
about 'em as he did about Florrie. And what were 
they? City employees, the whole mob, jobholders 
just like himself. Stenos, filing clerks, visiting 
nurses, comptometer operators, hash-slingers from 
the lunch counter at the Criminal Courts build- 

68 






ing, schoolmarms. Well maybe not schoolmarms. 
Once in a while you found a good looker among 
the schoolmarms; besides, all the schoolmarms 
were Democrats, because the Board of Education 
was appointed by the Mayor, by the late Mayor, 
John Norns Holtsapple, the big cream puff, the 
big beer puff, the big rye puff, the big booze puff. 
But things would be different after November. 
Would they? Sure they would. Hadn't more than 
half a million dollars worth of heroin and other 
narcotics been seized last night when Federal au- 
thorities raided? 

Introduced by Miss Brix, the toastmistress 
(whose two beautiful shiners contrasted strangely 
with her elaborate evening gown), Alec Gerard, 
the District Attorney, was on his feet trying to 
apply some of his favorite Pat and Mikes to cur- 
rent conditions. With only moderate success. This 
false bonhomie of the District Attorney's always 
slightly horrified Satchells, especially the deep 
laugh that went with it. Gerard, in this mood, 
interpolated the dreadful laugh before and after 
each jest: first, his lips would skin back, then his 
chin would drop like a ventriloquist's dummy's 
and then out would roll a hoh-hoh-hoh (never 

6 9 



more than three) , down, down, down. But all the 
time the fierce, glittering green eyes kept their 
cruelty. 

"Prrrrrooo!" 

Miss Bnx tapped with a spoon on her cup. 

4 'Girls," she said, "on the back of your pro- 
grams you'll find a song that I want you all to 
join in on. Miss La Tour will sing it through first, 
and then we'll repeat/ ' 

Lights were lowered and a baby spot flashed on 
a fat brunette in a white evening gown who stood 
up in the gallery and sang: 

We wont give you anything but votes, Harrie, 
And for you we'll shed our hats and coats, 
Harrie. 

Dont be shy. 

You know why 

We are for you. 

And we bet 

You will get 

The M-a-y-or-al-it-ee, 
And, gee, we think that you are simply swell, 

Harrie! 
John Holtsapple will not get a smell, Harrie, 

7° 



On November 5 you know darn well, Harrie, 
We won't give you anything but VOTES! 

The song was such a success that it was sung 
again and again and again. Tears came to Satchells' 
eyes: their faces shone so as they sang and they all 
loved him and trusted him, all those poor homely 
dames out there. Gee, we think that you are sim- 
ply swell, Harrie! They did, they really did, and, 
by God! he'd make 'em a swell Mayor, too. Cut 
out all the chasing around and make each one of 
'em as proud as Florne, his own darling daughter. 

And when, at the end of the ninth encore (he 
had kept count, in spite of his emotion) the song 
ended and every woman rose to her feet and 
shouted and clapped and waved her napkin, he 
sobbed quickly and looked down at his plate. 

Finally Miss Brix achieved order and said: 

"Girls, T needn't tell you who's going to ad- 
dress us now. I'll just say it's the Honorable Har- 
rie B. Satchells, our next Mayor of Malta." 

A ten-minute demonstration followed. 

His face was very earnest when he began to 
speak in a low, quiet voice. 

"Ladies, I wish I could express my feelings to 

7 1 



you at this moment. But I must keep myself 
under control for fear of breaking down. All I can 
say is that tonight is the happiest evening I have 
ever lived. I'm not giving you the old political 
hokum when I say this. I want you all to believe 
me when I tell you I'm speaking to each one of 
you straight from right in here. To me the Nine- 
teenth Amendment is one of the most wonderful 
parts of our great Constitution. I was a supporter 
of women's suffrage from the beginning of my 
political career, twenty years ago, so no matter 
what your affiliations might be I'd feel a fatherly 
interest in you all. But that you are all members 
of the Republican Party, the party that brought 
me up, the party that I revere and cherish, makes 
me feel more than a fatherly interest in you. And 
when I think of this beautiful occasion here to- 
night, ladies, I can only say that I love you one 
and all." 

A twelve-minute demonstration followed, and 
Satchells stepped a pace to the right directly in 
front of the three microphones that rose from back 
of the ferns in the centerpiece. 

"In the song which was sung so gloriously to- 
night occurs the line: 'J onn Holtsapple will not 

7 2 



get a smell.' May I be critical for a moment, la- 
dies, and say that that line is the only one of an 
otherwise perfect song in which I have a flaw to 
pick? John Holtsapple, otherwise known as the 
Mayor, does not need a smell; he's got one al- 
ready and so has his whole mis-administration. 
And that smell is a bad one." 

The Y.W.H.B.S.A. laughed uproariously. 

"Some of that smell blew across our great city 
last night when more than half a million dollars' 
worth of heroin and other narcotics were seized 
when Federal authorities raided a waterfront ware- 
house belonging to Jerry Gozo. Who was this 
Jerry Gozo, ladies? He was the Democratic com- 
mitteeman who was killed night before last. 
You've all read about it in your newspapers. What 
kind of a man was this Democratic leader? Well, 
in the first place, he was a bootlegger. We won't 
hold that too much against him " 

The laugh did not have to be waited for. 

"Still, whatever our feelings may be about Pro- 
hibition, a bootlegger is a man who carries on an 
illicit trade. He must consort with gangsters and 
usually is one himself. But let that pass. The 
Democrats have a few bootleggers among their 

73 



leaders. It's common knowledge, almost an un- 
written law. But, if we can forgive the Democrats 
and their Mayor for having bootleggers as leaders 
and colleagues, there's one thing that the people 
of this city cannot and will not forgive, and that is 
a trafficker in drugs! In all this world there is noth- 
ing so luw, so depraved, so rotting to the com- 
munity as a peddler of narcotics. And I stand here 
tonight and charge that Jerry Gozo was a friend, 
a colleague, an associate of Mayor Holtsapple's, 
and I'm warning him right now that it shall not 
be forgiven him next November when the people 
gather at the polls to give their judgment of such 
a reprehensible state of affairs." 

A fourteen-minute demonstration followed. 

1 'Ladies, it's getting late. Let me leave just two 
more thoughts with you before I close. First, we 
must descend on Malta next November 5 th like a 
hurricane and carry everything before us. Let's 
come on in such great numbers that we'll darken 
the sky. Be sure to register, all of you, and be sure 
to vote. And work to get your families out to vote 
with you: your parents and your sisters and all 
your relatives and your sweethearts. I'm sure each 
of you that's not married must have a boy friend. 

74 



Get as many as you can. I'd like to pledge each 
of you right now to bring in five votes under the 
eagle. Five votes each girl wins for the Grand Old 
Party. May I count on you?" 

A roaring chorus of "We Can't Give You 
Anything but Votes, Harne," replied in several 
hundred keys. 

"Fine. That's wonderful. And now the other 
thought I wanted to leave concerns something the 
Mayor said last night, when he was asked about 
the narcotic raid. He said, of course, that he didn't 
know anything. Naturally. He would. But he also 
said: 'The people will give us a vouch in the fall.' 
'Give us a vouch,' he said. Will you give him a 
vouch?" 

"NO!" screamed the Young Women's Harne 
B. Satchells Association. 

"I didn't think you would, and I promise you 
that I won't, either. Now, it just occurred to me 
that we could make a neat little war cry for our 
club out of the Mayor's words. This is the way 
it goes: 

"Ouch! Ouch! Give us a vouch! 
Ouch! Ouch! Give us a vouch! 

75 



Ouch! Ouch! Give us a vouch!, 

Booooooo! 

Holtsapple!" 

4 'Want to try that now? All right — one, two, 
three!" 

The new war cry, too, was an immediate suc- 
cess. 

"That was marvelous. And now, ladies, I have 
another very important engagement for which I'm 
late already. I can't thank you all one-millionth 
enough for this beautiful affair this evening. If 
I'm elected I'll try my very best to make you 
proud of me. And as I told you before and I'll tell 
you again — I love you one and all. Good night 
and God bless you." 

And after shaking hands with Miss Brix, 
Satchells left the hall to the strains of "We Can't 
Give You Anything but Votes, Harrie." 

In the lobby he got a dime changed and slipped 
into a phone booth. 

"Doane 8937 . . . Mr. McQuilty, please, 
Mr. Satchells calling. Charlie? Harrie. Say, listen, 
I want to see you right away. Can't I come up 
now? Oh, nuts. No, not over the phone. All 

7^ 



right, all right, I'll drop in tomorrow. Sure, it 
went O.K. I say it went O.K. What? About four, 
five thousand. O.K. Good-bye." 

Satchells hung up and then looked at the other 
nickel in his hand. He tossed it up and caught it 
several times. Finally he slowly took off the re- 
ceiver and lingenngly slipped the coin into the 
slot. The ping of the bell sounded loud in his ears. 

"Shore 6219. . . . Hello, how are you this 
evening? . . . uh-huh . . . uh-huh. . . . Yes, I'd 
like to very much . . . aaall right. Good-bye." 

His Hispano was waiting at the door of the 
hotel. 

"It's a nice night, Frank," he told the chauf- 
feur. "I think I'll walk home." 

"Yes, sir," said Frank, and as the car rolled 
away he winked at himself in the little mirror on 
the top of the windshield. 



77 



9 



OF McQUILTY, the Republican boss, somebody 
once said: "Charlie'd steal the beads out of the 
rosary while a priest was blessing him." Like 
Frankie Hague in Jersey City the Mayor, him- 
self, was head of the local Democratic machine. 
Since their ascensions neither had totally dom- 
inated the Greater City of Malta. To be sure, the 
Mayor controlled all the city patronage; but 
McQuilty held the county government in his 
sandy-haired paws ; and to the Board of Aldermen 
thirty wards had returned Republicans to the 
Democrats' thirty-five. Both parties regularly 
swapped favors in the way of minor appointments, 
and the Republicans licked all the Federal gravy. 
It came time to war over these inalienable rights. 

78 



"Good Gawd," rumbled the Mayor early in 
August, "I can't run this campaign on lettuce and 
wind." 

Charlie McQuilty, sitting in his private office 
at the Republican Club, blinked his white-lashed 
eyes like an owl in the noonday sun and mut- 
tered something about "No tickee no washee." 

The drive for funds began. 

Before it had ended both sides had raised more 
than $800,000 each for sinews of war. Every one 
of the 106,708 municipal employees ungrum- 
blingly contributed two per cent of his or her 
annual salary to the furthering of the Democratic 
fortunes; every one of the county and Federal em- 
ployees to the Republican fund. It was looked 
upon as out and out job insurance, Civil Service or 
no Civil Service. As a result of these levies, about 
$300,000 went to either party, or rather to the 
Mayor and McQuilty. 

There was no accounting for these monies, of 
course, and for only a small portion of the rest of 
the $1,600,000. Six months after the election, 
the two stooge campaign treasurers were to make 
public pretty little accountings, well within the 
limits of the Corrupt Practices Act, for $25,000 

79 



or so apiece; every cent legitimately spent for 
Rent of Headquarters, Advertising, Telephones, 
Stamps, etc. 

But $25,000 would not cover the Mayor's 
liquor bill for a year or install the electric merry- 
go-round organ in McQuilty's manorial hall in 
Dorking which worked from a button at his bed- 
side. Twenty-five thousand dollars would hardly 
suffice for Harrie Satchells' annual womanizing 
outlay or take care of Comptroller Wimpel's losses 
at the track. Twenty-five thousand dollars was 
spume to Niagara. The real cataract ran well into 
six figures, and before the floodgates could be 
opened a vast amount of currency had to be 
dammed. When all the public servants had 
heard the stern order, "Get it up!" and obeyed, 
the district and ward leaders were called in one by 
one, and each cigar-chewing satrap was com- 
manded to bear down on his own domain. So, 
throughout the Greater City all the little land- 
lords and shopkeepers, all the small contractors 
and tradesmen were privileged to assist in the pres- 
ervation of self-government. 

As the Democrats were the dominant party, 
empowered to whistle up firemen, building in- 

80 



spectors, health officers and packs of other badge- 
wearing violation-finders, the Mayor's cause re- 
ceived the cream of these neighborhood donations. 
Where the Republicans did well was in the finan- 
cial district; and many, many of Satchells' friends 
sent in fat checks; a gentleman named Schnull- 
barger came through with $50,000 and a nice 
letter. In short, one side used threats and the other 
promises, and each was highly effective. 

But the Democrats did well in Pine Street, 
too. Dr. Hinchman, the goateed Commissioner 
of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity, dashed 
through the section followed by the twenty-eight 
other city department heads and their deputies, 
calling on contractors and sellers of supplies and 
materials who had enjoyed business relations with 
the municipality. Patrick Henry Hanratty, Pres- 
ident of the Board of Education, (and an electrical 
sign manufacturer by profession) delivered a few 
soft words to the text book and school equipment 
trades and emerged smiling from every office. 

Through various channels (principally by dis- 
trict leaders who ran crap or stud games in their 
clubhouses) the city's foremost racketeers, boot- 
leggers, gamblers, bookmakers and other de- 

81 



fenders of personal liberty were approached and 
swiftly reasoned with. 

The Mayor himself got in touch with just the 
right persons (or rather, with their lawyers) in the 
traction, communication, illuminating and heat- 
ing industries and once again found the utilities 
useful in an election. (A few weeks later, when 
the Mayor attacked the Interests with vague feroc- 
ity, these just-right persons and their lawyers were 
to muse briefly on the strange ways of democracies 
and then return to their tickertapes.) 

And finally, the Lower Orders did their share, 
too, although as always they were sublimely un- 
aware of it. Two-thirds of Malta's citizenry lived 
on family incomes of less than $2,500 a year and 
one- third on less than $1,500. They were the 
people, the People, who genuinely enjoyed an 
election (but not a primary) and did most of the 
voting. To them an election was a wonderful free 
show. To them an election was the glorious finale 
to the quadrennial six weeks when the doctrine 
that all men are equal seemed to be an actual fact. 
There were other elections, of course: presidential, 
congressional, legislative, judicial — but to the 
good Maltese the best of all elections was the bat- 

82 



tie of the home champions, the fine, bloody, no- 
holds-barred, six-week battle. 

During these six weeks they were feted, they 
were entertained, they were appealed to as supe- 
rior beings. They did not realize, of course, that 
after the smoke had lifted it was all to be charged 
up to them in increased cost of food and rent and 
clothing. The following summer when milk went 
up another cent a quart and dungarees were half a 
buck more and dwelling in a slum came higher 
they were angry, but they did not know enough 
to suspect that the men they had so ecstatically 
chosen to govern them had contributed to their 
trouble. The connection between business and pol- 
itics they had heard shouted at them countless 
times; but it had always meant "Sock the Rich," 
Robin Hood stuff, which they admired whole- 
heartedly. Besides, they knew their politicians at 
close hand and adored them. 

Take Flume Feely, Commissioner of Docks 
(and an undertaker by profession) and Demo- 
cratic leader of the Nineteenth Assembly District. 
Flume, in the eyes of the Nineteenth, was prob- 
ably the greatest man in the whole world. Look 
at the way he cared for his people — always giving 

83 



out coal and baskets o£ food in the winter, ice and 
skipping ropes and marbles in the summer and 
funerals whenever they were needed. (The 
funerals were paid for direct by the Democratic 
Club at $200 a funeral and cost Flurrie $75. 
Whatever Flurrie could get out of the family of 
the loved one was just like finding it.) The 
people were so devoted to Flurrie that some of 
them gave even their lives for the Malta Democ- 
racy. That September a huge fire broke out in a 
block of tenements in the heart of the district, and 
fifty-six of Flurrie's constituents were fried alive. 
Nearly two years previously these tenements had 
been found totally lacking in safety appliances; 
but the owner saw Flurrie and Flurrie saw the 
Tenement House Commissioner and the Tene- 
ment House Commissioner saw the Mayor and 
the Mayor sent word back to Flurrie that every- 
thing would be O.K. if 

And everything was: for Flurrie a new motor- 
hearse; for the Mayor the district by huge ma- 
jority; and for the fifty-six over-zealous Democrats 
each and every one a nice funeral. 



84 



lo 



IT WAS REALLY hard luck on the Republican 
cause that the heroin seizure had been made in 
late July instead o£ in late October; for by late 
August the citizenry of Malta had completely 
forgotten about it and centered its interest on the 
furious struggle the Crusaders were making for 
the National League pennant. The pennant and 
American Tel. and Tel., General Motors, Mont- 
gomery Ward, U. S. Steel and American Can: 
the bull had not only jumped over the moon but 
gave every sign of soaring beyond the most dis- 
tant planets. "Ouch! Ouch! Give us a vouch!" 
appealed to the body politic more lastingly. Holt- 
sapple was referred to editorially several times in 
the Republican papers as "Mayor Ouch" and car- 

85 



lcatured by one cartoonist with the seat of his 
trousers on fire; the flames were labelled "Nar- 
cotic Exposures" and out of his mouth floated a 
balloon containing the word, "Ouch!" This car- 
toon was entitled "Looking for Lake Vouch to 
Sit Down In"; and the Republican Campaign 
Committee had several hundred thousand copies 
struck off in poster form for city-wide distribution. 
These posters never saw service, however, because 
just as they were about to be released the Mayor 
appeared at a monster mass meeting in the 63rd 
Regiment Armory with a copy of the newspaper 
(not the issue with the offending cartoon, how- 
ever) in his hand and proceeded to boomerang 
the whole conceit to pieces. 

"Friends," he began, "I got a copy of the 
Press-Register here with a picture in it that I want 
to show you. Maybe some of you got a look at it. 
But for those that didn't I'd just like to tell you 
about it. It's a picture of me, friends. It shows the 
Mayor with his clothing on fire. Over the top 
here it says: 'Looking for Lake Vouch to Sit 
Down In.' It's supposed to be a funny picture, 
friends. I'll just pass it around so's you can look 
at it for yourselves." 

86 



He walked to the edge of the platform and 
tossed the paper into the first row where the 
precinct captains from the Eighth were lolling on 
their funeral chairs. With a gently deprecating 
smile on his face he was silent for half a minute. 

"Well, why don't you laugh, friends? Don't 
that picture make you laugh? It's a funny picture, 
isn't it? It shows the Mayor with his clothing on 
fire. Don't that strike you as uproarious? It makes 
the Mayor ridiculous, don't it? That oughta make 
everybody laugh. And up at the top there it says: 
'Looking for Lake Vouch to Sit Down In.' Don't 
that make you laugh until the tears run down 
your face? Lake Vouch. Where's that? I never 
heard of it; but maybe some of you know where 
it is, and it's supposed to be funny. Go ahead, 
everybody, and have a good big laugh at the 
Mayor's expense." 

Another pause. 

"Why, friends, I don't hear any laughter; not 
a single titter nor giggle. I don't even see a single 
smile. And why don't I? Because, friends, the 
people of this Greater City refuse to enter into a 
dirty, rotten conspiracy of the public plunderers 
to rob me of my good name, that's why! The 

87 



people of this Greater City will have no part in a 
scandalous attempt to make me ridiculous and 
discredit me after thirty years of public service 
in their behalf. Just take a look at that picture. 
Isn't that a nice thing for the Mayor's wife and 
children to see? Put yourself in the Mayor's place 
and see how you'd like it to have your wife and 
children see a picture like that about you. Just 
take another look at that picture, friends. Isn't 
that a nice thing for the Mayor's friends and fel- 
low workers to have staring at them in the morn- 
ing at their breakfast table? And how do you 
think the Mayor felt when he saw that picture 
himself? 

"I'll tell you, friends: he felt mighty bad, 
mighty, mighty bad. Mighty bowed down. He 
felt: 'What's the use giving your time and your 
money and your whole life to the people when 
that's the way you get treated for your pains?' 
He felt just about ready to quit, I can tell you, 
just about ready to take his hat and go home and 
call it a day. He was about through, I can tell 
you, just about through. 

"But then something happened that day that 
put a new face on it, friends, and gave him a new 

88 



lease on life so's he could hold his head up again. 
An old and dear friend of his come to him that 
day. And when he saw the Mayor bowed down 
he put his hand on his shoulder and he says: 
'Mister Mayor,' he says, 'you don't mean to say 
you're paying that picture in the paper this morn- 
ing any mind, do you?' And the Mayor's heart 
was sore and he says: 'Yes, Joe, I do. It hurts me, 
Joe, it hurts me here. I been looking after the 
good people of the City of Malta with all my 
heart and soul for thirty years now, and here they 
do a thing like this to me.' And Joe says: 'Why, 
Mister Mayor, you must be outa your mind. This 
ain't the people made this picture. They don't 
know and they don't care anything about it. It's 
just a nasty, dirty, rotten, plundering, trust-run 
newspaper made it, that's who made it. And my 
advice to you is to get out and tell the people 
about it. Meet 'em face to face and lay your 
troubles before 'em. Ask 'em what they think 
and abide by their decision. But be sure it's the 
people you go to.' 

"And, friends, that's why I'm here tonight. 
I'm taking Joe's advice. Do you believe what it 
says in this picture? Has anybody here seen me 

8 9 



or heard about me with my clothing on fire? Did 
anybody hear me asking the directions to a place 
called Lake Vouch? No, you didn't, friends, and 
anybody says he seen me with my clothing on 
fire or heard me asking any such directions is a 
LIAR! And this picture is a LIE, and I brand as 
LIARS the trust-run Press-Register and the plun- 
der-mad Republican Campaign Committee that 
started this whole infamous attempt to slander me 
and discredit me and rob me of my good name and 
humiliate me before my wife and my children and 
crucify me!" 

Phillip Dorsey, sitting high in the gallery, 
gently ran the ball of his right ring finger down 
the three-inch scar on the dome of his skull as 
he listened to the applause roar and roar and roar. 



9° 



11 



THE CAMPAIGN recruited a rabble of most of 
the bogus publicity experts in town — reporters 
who had been unable to make a 'varsity squad, 
broken-down tipsters, We Boys, petty promoters 
of every sort, chiselers, all the nincompoop sutlers 
to public opinion — and enlisted them in the mer- 
cenary armies of both sides. Not all combined 
were instrumental in obtaining a single line of 
reclame for either of the champions in any news- 
paper; but their assistance was considered essen- 
tial by the strategists. Equally wasted were the 
huge sums spent on full page advertisements in 
all the city's newspapers tromboning the aims and 
superiorities of the rival gladiators. Who read 
them? Nobody, not even the gladiators' wives. 

9 1 



The local foreign language press was fixed — by 
both sides for goodly sums — and to no purpose 
whatsoever. 

Each faction took half an hour of radio time 
every evening for six weeks at $12 a minute, 
which worked out to a grand total of $30,240; 
and whenever a Maltese accidentally tuned in 
and found it wasn't "Ise Regusted" he immedi- 
ately began fishing for Paul Whiteman. The 
Democrats sent out 750,000 circulars by mail at 
six cents apiece; and the Republicans sent out a 
million — cost, $105,000. Few of their recipients 
even bothered to scan them much less heed their 
urgings. Talking shorts of the principal candi- 
dates mouthing and gesturing their appeals were 
made and exhibited in various public squares from 
screens mounted on motor trucks. The din of 
passing traffic never failed to extinguish the 
burning messages. 

Phony fraternal orders ("The Sons of Free- 
dom," "The Order of the Western World," 
"The Royal and Ancient Shamrock Guild," "The 
Junior Company of Loyal Americans," to name a 
few) sprang forth like nits, received their emolu- 
ments and vanished utterly after the election. 

92 






Labor leaders, representing every conceivable 
trade, put on their bogy false faces and booed 
at the campaign manipulators until they had been 
dealt with. As a political factor, Malta's labor 
vote, save for the pygmy Socialists and the lilli- 
putian Communists, amounted to exactly nothing 
at all: workers did not vote as workers but as 
spectators at a circus applauding various per- 
formances. 

Several acres of billboard space were covered 
with: 

HURRY! HURRY! HURRY! 

FOR 
HARRIE! HARRIE! HARRIE! 

and 

MALTA FIRST 

SLAKE THAT THIRST 

WITH JOLLY JOHN 

in letters ten feet high; transparencies and ban- 
ners were strung across streets by the hundreds; 
and thousands and thousands of cards bearing 
candidates' photographs and specifications were 

93 



fastened to everything that would take tacks. The 
Mayor designed a nifty red button which urged: 

All For Malta 

Malta For All 

and 

Everybody for Holtsapple. 

Two million of these were passed around. The 
Republicans replied with a green button (cozen- 
age to the Irish vote) declaring "I Am For " 

and suspended from it by a short piece of the 
Stars and Stripes were two little chocolate 
satchels, which caused thousands of recess fights 
in school grounds all over the city. Orville Lof- 
tus, the Municipal Scroll Reader, suggested that 
the Mayor reply with a similar button only with 
a little chocolate hand holding a little chocolate 
apple dangling down. ''See, John, 'Holts-apple.' 
Get it?" But the Mayor had a hangover that 
morning. 

What Al Smith christened "boloney pictures" 
the previous summer were posed for in profusion: 
the Mayor on one knee at the finals in the State- 
wide Marble Shooting Championship; Satchells 

94 



in a Boy Scout hat being sworn as a Tenderfoot 
into Troop 16; the Mayor in the cab of the largest 
B. & O. engine at the Grand Union Depot with 
the far too small cap of the engineer on his great 
head; Satchells with his arm around the skinny 
shoulders of Micajah Hudgins, Malta's oldest 
voter, who had first marched to the polls for 
William Henry Harrison. . . In every conceivable 
position the two were snapped: kissing babies, 
dandling gluey-mouthed children, laying 
wreathes, baking bread, tanning hides, throwing 
baseballs, kicking footballs, riding gang plows, 
shooting, swimming, waving at people. The Di- 
vine Cal himself had no more versatile a reper- 
toire. 

Both sides sent out their dirt-scjuirters, each 
carefully instructed never to squirt before more 
than one person at a time. The Mayor held a 
long conference over just what squirted on 
Satchells would do him the most harm. Mike 
Raffigan told him about Inge. 

"Who is she?" 

"She's a massooze, John." 

"A what?" 

"You know, she gives massadge to the society 

95 



dames. Got a big jernt of her own on Federal 
Street." 

"He sold his birthright for a pet of massage?" 
Loftus offered and then burped in self-criticism. 

"Good Gawd," said the Mayor, "do you want 
to elect the guy? Lay off that dame stuff or the 
people are li'ble to think it's swell and vote for 
him. No, we gotta get something about his 
family." 

"How about him havin' Chinee blood?" sug- 
gested Mike. 

"Oh, Gawd," groaned the Mayor, "where did 
I ever come across such a spool-head as you, Mike 
Raffigan? I oughta sell you to the Ringling 
Brothers. Chinee blood! Why, you goddam 
loogan, the guy's Princeton and belongs to the 
Union League. That's what we want to get over 
— him a silk stocking, don't you ketch on? And 
we don't want to make it too hard or nobody'll 
get what you're talking about. Let's see . . . 
How's this — he gets his clothes made in New 
York? No, wait a minute . . . He gets his clothes 
made in London! That ought to go great with 
you mackerel-snappers. He gets his clothes made 
in London. How's 'at?" 

9 6 



. 



"Oh, fine, John, fine! He gets his clothes 
made in London. Hmmm. Oh, that's fine. He 
gets his clothes made in London, does he, the 
muzzier? Hmm. Just wait till the people hear 
that. In London, hey? Hmm." 

"They make his clothes in London, but he 
makes his dames himself," Loftus sang softly, 
but stopped when he caught the Mayor's glare 
and let his gaze roll towards the ceiling. 

McQuilty ordered his dirt-squirters to circulate 
the rumor that the Mayor was grievously afflicted 
with a certain social sickness and therefore un- 
fitted for further tenure of office. 

In mid-September both candidates with their 
general staffs and most prominent onhangers with- 
drew from the city for a two weeks' rest and 
loin-girding: the Democrats descended on White 
Sulphur Springs; the Republicans on French 
Lick. 

When they returned the heavy strafing began. 



97 



12, 



ON THE NIGHT of October 6 in the audi- 
torium of the Malta Republican Club before an 
audience of 4,000 election workers of all ranks, 
Hanrie Satchells held up his hand to still the 
uproar that followed the chairman's crescendoed 
introduction. Puzzled, the audience let its clap 
ping and cheering trickle away. 

"Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I thank 
you from the bottom of my heart," he said. 
"That greeting was meant for me. I am deeply 
touched and I love you for it. But tonight we 
have another speaker with us, a surprise visitor, 
whose name is not on the program." 

He smiled at the committee, glanced towards 
the wings, then walked to the footlights and bent 

98 



over to confer with the orchestra leader. The 
audience began to buzz and mutter and wonder 
what was happening. "Hoover . . . It's Hoover 
coming . . . It's Dawes . . . Charlie . . . Hoover 
. . . Doc Work . . . Walter Brown . . . Sim Fess 
. . . the O-Cedar Mop . . . shhhh . . . Harrie's 
stewed . . ." 

Once again Satchells was holding up his hand. 

"Please, ladies and gentlemen, please, while I 
introduce the guest of honor. Unfortunately our 
committee didn't know about his coming this 
evening, so nobody was ready for him. I had to 
bring him myself. But if the Professor will just 
oblige with a little appropriate music I'll have 
him here for you in no time." 

As the orchestra struck up a soft acrobats' 
waltz, Satchells drew from the pocket of his din- 
ner jacket a little flat packet and a shiny nickel 
bicycle pump, the kind that fits into the leather 
case on the back of the saddle. Like a magician 
starting an illusion, he removed a rubber band, 
shook out the packet until it extended from just 
above his knees to the floor and then deftly 
screwed the nozzle of the bicycle pump into it. 
He began to pump swiftly. 

99 



"Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I met our guest 
this afternoon wandering around with a forlorn 
look on his face." (Pump, pump, pump, pump. 
The flat packet now resembled a half-inflated 
inner tube.) "He asked me what I was doing 
tonight. I told him I was coming here and invited 
him to come with me. He said he'd like to very 
much, but he didn't think he could crash the 
gate." (Pump, pump, pump, pump. The inner 
tube had changed to a brown slab of muddy 
jelly.) "I told him not to be afraid — we Repub- 
licans are law-abiding, harmless people, not like 
those of a certain other political organization." 
(Laughter and cheers drowned the swift whreeng- 
ing of the pump; the slab of muddy jelly was 
assuming a blurred human shape.) 

"So I told him," Satchells shouted, working 
the pump like mad, "that if he was so scared of 
us it would be no trouble at all to carry him here 
or anywhere else in my pocket. Ladies and gentle- 
men, allow me to introduce the Honorable John 
Holtsapple, who'll soon be the late Mayor of 
Malta!" 

And there, even to the fat flaps, stood a huge 
pneumatic caricature of His Honor. One final 

ioo 



pump plunge and Satchells seized the balloon's 
right hand in his own and shook it. Fortissimo, 
in a minor key and heavily backed by the laugh- 
ing trombones, the orchestra broke into the "J°My 
John Rag." Satchells himself roared and mopped 
his brow as the crowd went mad for ten minutes 
and the musicians brayed furiously on. 

He reached up and grasped the neck of the 
monster from behind with his left hand and made 
it bow in all directions. 

"Yes, Mister Mayor, we're delighted to have 
you with us tonight. I've never seen you looking 
better. How do you feel?' , 

Satchells bent the monster's head over towards 
his left ear as though it were whispering and pre- 
tended to listen. 

"He says he feels small, ladies and gentlemen, 
he says he feels small. All right, sir, we'll soon 
fix that." 

And he worked the pump in the monster's 
side until it was a head taller. 

"How's that now, better?" 

The monster nodded. 

"It's very simple, ladies and gentlemen, just 
a little more air settles everything. Whenever 

IOI 



anything' s been wrong at the City Hall for the 
last sixteen years, all that's been necessary is 
some more wind. Tell us, Mr. Mayor, how do 
you feel about chances on November 5th?" 

The monster swelled higher and higher until 
it was twice the size of its Frankenstein. 
Satchells unscrewed the pump from the monster's 
side and pressed the valve needle. A swift jet of 
air shot out. 

"How do you think the people are going 
to vote when they remember those narcotic 
seizures?" Satchells shouted. The monster began 
diminishing. 

"And what about the bigger budget and those 
increased tax rates?" 

A swift shrinkage. 

"And how about the Stitchleigh subway you 
promised to have ready two years ago?" 

The monster shuddered and shrank. He was 
his master's size now. 

"And those South Side sewers! And the 279 
murders last year!" 

Horrible wrinkles and folds appeared in the 
monster's face and neck. 

"And the ice ring last summer! And the 
102 



thousands and thousands of children with no seats 
for them in the public schools!" 

Satchells shouted charge after charge, furi- 



o 



irge, 



ously, and the monster withered, puckered, con- 
tracted like the man in the Poe tale who 
deliquesced before the teller's eyes. As it dwindled 
to midget size, Satchells roared: 

"How do you feel about November 5th now, 
Mr. Mayor?" 

He let all the air out with a rush, folded the 
tube into a little flat packet, slipped the rubber 
band around it, dropped it into his pocket with 
an underscored motion and walked off stage to a 
thunderous chorus of "We Won't Give You Any- 
thing but Votes, Harrie." 



10 



13 



A LIGHT TRUCK with cheesecloth banners on 
its sides: 

VOTE YES ON THE CITY MANAGER 
AMENDMENT 

was parked at the northeast corner of Blatchford 
Avenue and Ransome Street in the upper East 
Side. From its tail Phillip Dorsey addressed an 
audience (the cop on the beat, several dozen dirty 
little boys, a fat man with a parcel under his arm 
and a kimonoed woman sticking her curl-papered 
head out of a window over the drug store) on 
civic betterment. Carried away by the fervor of 
his message, he spoke on and on and on, ob- 

104 



livious of his audience, his surroundings, the noise 
of the surface cars which droned and clanged by 
him in rapid succession. His speech, a mortise and 
tenon of logic, first set forth in detail twenty 
reasons (ten to each) why neither the Mayor nor 
Satchells should be voted for, and then took up 
the outstanding advantages of the City Manager 
System. He had delivered it with great effect be- 
fore the Civic Association, the Malta Federated 
Council of Churches, the Association for Improv- 
ing the Condition of the Poor, the South Side 
Single Tax Guild, the Dorking Municipal League, 
the Malta Short Ballot Association, the Propor- 
tional Representation Society, the Federated 
Malta College Women, the Civil Service Reform 
League, the National Committee for Better 
Films, Malta Branch, and dozens of other for- 
ward-looking organizations and groups. And now 
here he was on his city-wide swing. During his 
career at the bar, Phillip Dorsey had done very 
little trial work; none at all in the criminal courts. 
"And let me show you some comparative data 
on these slates," he was saying. His niece, a Miss 
Pendelbury just out of Radcliffe, handed him a 
slate like a conjurer's assistant passing a rabbit. 

105 



Dorsey held the slate high over his head and 
moved it to the right and left so that all could see. 

"First, let us compare the per capita debt here 
to those of other cities the size of Malta/' he 
shouted. "On this slate we have New York. New 
York's per capita debt as of 1928, you see, is 
$212.76. What is Malta's? Malta's is $289.89. 
Two hundred and eighty-nine dollars and eighty- 
nine cents " 

A pianola on the top floor of a dingy brick 
building next to the drug store set out on "Makin' 
Whoopee" with all the brakes off. 

Another bride, 

Another groom, 

Another sunny 

Ah-honeymoon, 

Another season. 

Another reason 

For makin whoopee. 

A boodle-leet-teeday, BAM! 

"And on this slate which I show you here, you 
see Chicago's per capita debt as compared to 
Malta's. Even as badly governed a city as Chi- 
cago has a lower " 

106 



A covey of young men with fedoras cocked 
over their ears came out of a basement poolroom 
across the street and gathered around the truck 
tail. 

"Everybody knows about Chicago. And yet 
with all their appalling mismanagement " 

"Let 'im have it," yelled a voice, and as one 
the young men drew back their right arms. A 
barrage of eggs spatted over the truck; pick, puck, 
pack, pock. One struck the slate which Dorsey 
still held aloft, and a gooey mess drooled down 
his sleeve. Miss Pendelbury screamed as some- 
thing wet and slimy hit her in the face. The 
driver of the truck started his engine and the car 
jolted off down the street to a chorus of jeers and 
birds. 

Dorsey wiped yolks and albumen from his suit 
front. 

"What was that that hit you, my dear?" 

"Ugh, a fish," said Miss Pendelbury. 

"The cowardly swine, they might have broken 
your glasses." 

And with his foot he disgustedly kicked a large 
flounder over the truck tail. 



107 



14 



BEYOND QUESTION Malta's greatest Afro- 
phile was the Mayor, for in the black vote he had 
discovered the deciding factor of strength which 
enabled him to win again and again the other- 
wise evenly divided city. By every right Republi- 
cans, the colored voters had fallen wholly under 
the spell of this Democratic Svengali; and the 
docile regularity with which they shuffled to the 
polls every election day and voted for him to a 
man had driven the Mayor's enemies nearly out 
of their minds. 

Nothing, apparently, nothing could be done 
about it. If the Republicans gave a clam bake for 
them, the Mayor threw a bigger and better bar- 
becue. If the Republicans offered brass bands, the 

1 08 



Mayor ran a jazz contest with a week-end of 
free dancing and refreshments. In the 1925 cam- 
paign McQuilty's minions distributed in the 
Negro section thousands of sets of rattle bones 
with the names of the Republican candidates 
stamped on them. The Mayor replied with a 
hundred thousand pairs of large dice on each face 
of which grinned his picture. All you had to do 
was burn dots in them with a hot nail. Joe Hunt, 
the local Negro heavyweight, swung the 1921 
campaign. There was a tremendous agitation that 
summer to match him with Dempsey for the 
American heavyweight championship, the fight 
to be in Malta. Everything, it seemed, was ready 
but the State Boxing Commission, which refused 
at first to sanction the match. There was much 
talk of the color line and race discrimination. Then 
the Mayor wangled the Commission's consent. 
And did he ring the changes on it! The speech 
in which he referred to himself time after time 
throughout the black belt as the Great Emanci- 
pator of Today sent him to the City Hall for four 
years more. Dempsey went to Boyle's Thirty 
Acres and fought Gorgeous Georges, instead. But 
the big thing was that the Mayor got Dempsey 

109 



permission to fight Joe if he wanted to. Enough. 

Ninety-nine per cent of the colored population 
lived in Sicily, an island in the Tiber River which 
writhed through the northern part of the city. 
The scarcity of labor during the World War had 
enormously increased Malta's Negro citizenry: 
more than 100,000 had moved in from the South 
and now they numbered better than a quarter 
million. 

On the night of October 13th in the Sicily 
Casino the Mayor's arrival threw 20,000 colored 
voters into the wildest uproar, for at the end of 
two leashes he dragged a pair of pigs from the 
wings. One was a hog, so vast it could hardly 
waddle, the other a squealing shoat. The shoat's 
hind legs were encased in a pair of little silk stock- 
ings. The Mayor pulled and pushed the hog until 
he had maneuvered it into the center of the stage 
and then untangled the leash of the shoat from 
his left leg. It was very difficult to get the crowd 
quieted for his message. 

"Friends and fellow citizens," he said, "we 
have a coupla extra speakers with us tonight who 
turned up at the last minute, so their names didn't 
get on the program. Let me introduce 'em to you. 

no 



This one here," he pointed to the hog, "is the 
Honable Charlie, My Boy, McQuilty. And this 
little fellow over here's the Honable Harne Satch- 
ells, President of the Board of Aldermen and a 
candidate for office this fall. He put his silk stock- 
ings on tonight so's he could show everybody 
what a high-and-mighty muck-a-muck he is." 

The hog sat down. 

"Well, Charlie, my boy, I see you've decided 
to take things easy. That's been Charlie's motto 
all his life, friends: 'Take things easy — 'specially 
if they belong to somebody else. If you can't take 
'em easy, take 'em hard, but take 'em, keep tak- 
ing 'em alia time.' 

"Just bring that microphone over here close to 
the floor. I want Charlie, my boy, to say a few 
words to us and I want the folks all over the 
country to hear it. Folks, this is WGCM, the 
municipal broadcasting station of the Greater City 
of Malta. This is coming to you from a Demo- 
cratic rally in the Sicily Casino in honor of the 
Honable John Holtsapple, Mayor of the Greater 
City of Malta. We are fortunate in having with 
us tonight Charlie, My Boy, McQuilty, the Har- 
monious Hog. The Republican platform, folks." 

i ii 



He straddled the hog, stroked its side and held 
the microphone down to its snout. 

"Rrroink, oink, oink, oink," the hog grunted. 

"Sounds like a fine platform, Charlie, my boy. 
And if you get your hoofs on the City Hall 
what do you intend to do with the people's 
money?" 

"Rrroink, oink, oink, oink." 

''I'm sure the people's money'll get well taken 
care of. And now, Charlie, my boy, just one more 
question. To what do you attribute your success 
in life?" 

"Rrroink! 94 

"Thanks very much, Charlie, my boy. I think, 
friends, that Charlie's left us a fine recipe for how 
to get on in this world — just be a hog and give 
'em plenty of the old rrroink, and everything' 11 
be jake. Now let's hear from our silk stocking 
friend. C'mere you." 

He hauled the shoat to him and took it up in 
his arms, arranging its front trotters over his left 
forearm and seizing its tail. 

"Well, Harrie, how do you feel about No- 
vember 5th?" 

With its little blue eyes bulging, the shoat 
112 



gave forth a long, horrible, slaughterhouse squeal. 

"And what'll you do when you see those Sicily 
Democrats come marching to the polls?" 

The squeal was even more horrible than the 
first. 

"And now, Harrie, let's have three cheers for 
Hoover and the Republican porky and then we'll 
say good night. Hip-hip ('Eeenk!') Hip-hip 
('Eeeeeenk! !'). Hip-hip ('Eeeeeeeenk! ! !')." 

The Mayor dropped the shoat, kicked the hog 
to its feet, took a reef on the leashes and began 
dragging the pigs of? the stage. 

"Good night, folks," he thundered. "We gotta 
be on our way. We got a date at the slaughter- 
house for November 5th and we're sure gonna 
keep it." 



11.3 



15 



PHILLIP DORSEY and George Oates, city edi- 
tor of the Malta Morning Mail, lunched together 
on November 2nd. 

' 'Zoology seems to play a larger and larger role 
in the government of this great city as time goes 
on," said Oates. "First there's the pony murder 
and then Waldo, the Wrestling Bear, and then 
you get a fish heaved at you and now it's John 
and his trained pigs. Geez, what a gag that pig 
thing turned out to be! The people are crazy for 
it: he filled the Opera House this noon. I don't 
see how he can lose now." 

"Vaudeville," said Dorsey, "sheer vaudeville. 
What's the human race coming to? And Satchells 
with his toy balloons! Why, he actually had the 

114 



crust to go through his performance before the 
Junior League and the Colony Club. Some of the 
most prominent women in the city! And they 
actually had the nerve to like it!" 

"You got to give the people what they want." 
Oates lit a Bacia. "By the way, how do they seem 
to be wanting City Managership?" 

Dorsey's face lit up. 

"We're making progress," he said. "It's been 
hard going, some of it, but we're making progress 
all the time. The people have to be educated." 

"You ought to get some pig-balloons," said 
Oates. 



"5 



16 



TOSTLE GODLY (he always insisted on the 
apostrophe when spelling his name for the un- 
aware) awoke to a tinny ruffle, awoke easily and 
quickly, lifted an arm from under the turkey 
quilt, snapped on a light by the bed, snapped off 
the alarm clock. No yawning, no eye rubbing, 
no lip smacking. Two thirty. Time to get up and 
work for the Lord. 'Postle Godly turned to 
Mother Godly at his side and gazed for a little at 
her old bronzed face scowling like a Niger queen 
at some juju rite. Gently he shook her by the 
shoulder. 

"Peace, Mother, time to get up and work for 
the Lord." 

116 






"Peace, 'Postle," said Mother Godly, blinking 
at the light. "Whut time is it?" 

"Two thirty. Time you was up and waking 
the children." 

As 'Postle Godly walked across the room No- 
vember drafts blew under the door and ballooned 
his nightgown out. Shivering, he unbuttoned it 
at the neck and hauled it over his head. 

"Mmm, sure is cold this morning." 

From a hook in the cupboard he snatched a 
suit of heavy red woolens and began to stab his 
legs into them. Mmm, cold. The flaming union 
suit beautifully set off the 'Postle's Hershey-bar 
face with its short Nubian beard and his hands 
and feet — a contrast he never failed to enjoy; and 
he turned to the long mirror on the cupboard door 
as he began swiftly buttoning. Smoothing the gar- 
ment down snug over his ribs and limbs he smiled 
at himself. Then he turned sideways and was 
distressed to find an incongruous bustle of red 
woolen hanging over his seat. Efforts to make it 
fit tight to the little flat hams were fruitless. He 
looked sharply at Mother Godly. In an old 
flowered wrapper she was just opening the door 
to go to call the children. Shucks. Sulkily he sat 

n 7 



down on the bed and drew on purple socks and 
tan shoes. 

The unseemly protuberance was immediately 
forgotten, however, when 'Postle Godly saw him- 
self in his mauve cassock. And his cerise surplice. 
And orange stole. From a cupboard shelf he lifted 
down his mitre and set it on his head, took up 
his crozier from a cupboard corner, struck a pose 
before the glass. Bulges were nowhere in his mind. 
He was magnificent now, no longer a little genie 
of roulette, but an effulgent cloud of glory, even 
in this sickly old mirror and bad light. Was it the 
mitre or the crozier? 'Postle Godly could never 
decide which of these accoutrements he loved the 
more. The mitre, a resplendent contraption of 
patent leather encrusted with tiny mother-of-pearl 
figures of geometric and astronomical design, lent 
him a dignity of stature not vouchsafed his naked 
five feet two. But the crozier, ah, that crozier! 
(the 'Postle hugged it to him and shot an almost 
shamefaced grin at himself) was what gave him 
his awfulness. A seven-foot glass cane with a black 
velvet cord chasing round and round up its whole 
length through a spiral groove, its crook stood 
out over the ' Postle 's head while he exhorted 

118 



his flocks; not an instrument for the gentle draw- 
ing in of lambs but a barbed gaff for snagging 
libidinous rams, straying ewes and the profane 



goa 



dy. 



"Peace, 'Postle," Mother Godly said, "here 
comes the children." 

The twelve children entered in their long white 
robes. Each carried a trombone save a little fat 
man who came in last bearing; a bass drum. In 
his left hand he held a drum stick and in his 
right a switch. 

"Peace, 'Postle," they said in soft unison when 
they had ranged themselves before him, women 
to his right, men to his left. 

"Peace, children. All got your slip horns? 
And there's the drum." 

"Yes, 'Postle." 

He called the roll of the women first. 

"Joy 'Bounding?" 

"Here, 'Postle." 

"Salvation Everlasting?" 

"Here, 'Postle." 

"Faith Eternal?" 

"Here, 'Postle." 

"Hope Fulfilled?" 

IIQ 



Here, 'Postle." 

Light From Above?" 

'Here, 'Postle." 

Love Without End?" 

Here, 'Postle." 
Then he called the roll of the men. 

Blood of the Lamb?" 

Here, 'Postle." 

Glory Hallelujiah?" 

'Here, 'Postle." 

'Suffer Little Children?" 

'Here, 'Postle." 

'Washed in Jordan?" 

'Here, 'Postle." 

'Concentrated Power?" 

'Here, 'Postle." 

'Peace at Any Price?" 
This last was the little fat drummer who 
sounded a faint "boom-ditty-boom" with his stick 
and switch and cried raptly: 

"Heaoh, 'Postle. It's mahvelous!" 
All the other children and Mother Godly be- 
gan to coo quickly: "Peace, 'Postle, peace . . . it's 
mahvelous, it's mahvelous, 'Postle . . . oh, mah- 
velous, mahvelous . . . peace!" 

120 



"Peace, children, it's mahvelous. ,, 

Loving kindness began to pervade the room. 
'Postle Godly went to the window, raised it, stuck 
out his head. Douglass Square, the huge circular 
heart of the island from which six arteries pumped 
traffic, was empty save for a line of taxis in front 
of the Dark Secret. A few cluster lamps were still 
lit; but the sky was starless and there was a cloud 
over the moon. From the Dark Secret he heard 
brasses squalling tonic ululations that bounded 
from the floor and shook the building, and he 
put round an ear and listened. Sure enough. He 
scowled at the row of big velvet-curtained win- 
dows on the fifth floor through whose plateglass 
the rhythm penetrated and he drew back his head 
into the room. 

"Peace, children." 

"Peace, 'Postle." 

"Hope you all are dressed good and warm. 
Goin' to be hard blowin' those slip horns out in 
the cold this morning, children, but you'll blow 
'em, you'll blow 'em, 'cause it's the Lord's work 
you all are blowing 'em for, and you'll blow 'em. 
You all are blowing 'em for the Lord and for me. 
I am the Lord's gift to mankind and when you all 

121 



are blowing 'em for me you're blowing 'em for 
the Lord, too." 

'It's mahvelous!" 

'Peace, 'Postle, peace." 

Ohhhhh, peace!" 

Mahvelous ! Mahvelous ! ' ' 

Peace, children, it's mahvelous. We better go 
down now and git ready for the coming." 



122 



17 



'POSTLE GODLY recognized the jungly 
bounce from the Dark Secret. It was the " 'Postle 
Godly Scronch," a molten ballad of forty-six 
verses composed in honor of the new religion and 
the new dance which between them had been 
ravaging Sicily for the past year. At that moment 
the Dark Secret (Moe and Milt Stein, proprie- 
tors) was packed with a convention of the dis- 
trict sales managers of the Dye-Dee-Doo Cor- 
poration, manufacturers of an electrical appliance 
for washing infants' wear. While sales managers 
watched her bulge-eyed, Chopsie Simons swayed 
her gorgeous molasses-taffy body before each table 
and sang verse after verse with yodelling warbles 
and deep chest tones. Chopsie had several gold 

123 



front teeth, but tonight she was noteworthy in so 
many other ways that they passed unobserved. 

Beating time with a huge wad of bills in her 
left hand, she had just reached the thirty-third 
verse: 

Some people clay-he-hame that Godly was a 

3 postle. 
I dunno 'bout that 
But I know he sure could 

when 

"ARRROOO! ARRROOO! ARRROOO!" 

The roar, like an enormously magnified fire 
siren's shrill, seemed immediate, there, in the 
room. Every one turned to the big windows that 
gave on to the square. A great plume of fire flew 
past. 



124 



18 



"SIXTEENT PRECINT, Lieutenant Brady 
speakin' . . . Lady, you'll have to take it easy, 
I can't make out nutten you're sayin'. How's 'at 
again? ... A balla what? Oh, a balla fire, hey? 
. . . Oh, it's flyin' around is it? And what's that 
you say's comin' out of it? Oh, screamin', hey? 
Teh, tch, tch, that sounds awful tough, lady. 
Well, lady, you better blow it out and go back to 
bed. I say it's a job for the Fire Department . . . 
Awnght, awnght. Take it easy, lady. Peekaboo, 
lady." 

Lieutenant Brady twirled in his chair to the 
patrolman working the switchboard by the desk. 

"Y'imagine 'at, Mike? Ballsa fire she's got! 
125 



What are these spades puttin' in their gin? Ballsa 
fire! 'At's a new one." 

But Mike didn't answer, for eight calls had 
just hit the switchboard at once. 



126 



19 



"GIMME THE NIGHT DESK for God's 
sake. Hello, who is this? Oh, Brooks, Lavely. 
Say, all hell's busted loose up here. The niggers 
are goin' crazy. There's a big ball of fire bobbin' 
all over the island makin' terrible noises. What? 
Of course I'm sober. Listen, this thing swooped 
down about ten minutes ago and it's bobbin' up 
and down all over everywhere. I thought it was 
a boinin' plane at first, but a boinin' plane lands 
some time and this thing shoots up every once in 
awhile. It's the goddamdest thing / ever saw. 
Sure, I can see it right now out the window while 
I'm talkin' to you here from the shack. The 
niggers are go in' screwier every second. Have you 
got time for somethin' on it? . . . O.K." 

127 



Brooks went over to the bridge game. 

"Lavely says there's a big ball of fire over 
Sicily scaring everybody to death. He says ter- 
rible noises are coming out of it and it's not a 
burning plane, because it's been in sight for at 
least ten minutes now and every once in awhile it 
goes up. He does sound pretty sober/' 

"Oh, nuts. Well, go see what's the matter 
with him, Bob, and if he's stiff again tell him I 
said it's the last time. And hurry back. We gotta 
set these mugs." 



12 



8 



£o 



"ARRROOO! ARRROOO! ARRROOO!" 

The flame plume had skimmed the chimneys 
all over the island and was swiftly encircling the 
square again. Out of it came a furious roar and a 
hellish shrieking. Houses and tenements were 
emptying and the people ran half-dressed, night- 
gowned, naked into the street, bumping and 
knocking each other down as they watched the 
dreadful thing above. 

Suddenly the shrieking ceased and from the 
flames a doomful voice thundered: 
"REPENT! REPENT! REPENT!" 
The people began to fall on their knees and 
moan. Again the fire went bobbing over the 
housetops. Again it returned to the square. 

"SEE 'POSTLE GODLY. SEE 'POSTLE 
GODLY. HE IS YOUR MOSES. HE IS 

129 



YOUR MOSES. FOLLOW HIM IN ALL 
THINGS. FOLLOW HIM IN ALL THINGS. 
AND REPENT! REPENT! REPENT!" 

The fire rose up and up and up, higher and 
higher and higher, till it winked out. 

Then music blew down the wind to the people 
and drew them. Through the streets they ran, 
hobbled, crawled towards the square. 'Postle 
Godly stood in a big truck drawn up before the 
chain store over which he lived. He leaned on a 
lectern set up in the truck-bed and watched the 
people coming. Behind him the eleven trombones, 
alto, tenor and bass, were playing "Roll, Jordan, 
Roll!" over and over and over again, while the 
people drank the melody and packed closer and 
closer to drink its healing balm. 

Roll, Jordan, roll; 

Roll, Jordan, roll. 

I want to go to Heaven when J dieeee 

To hear those angels sing. 

On and on they came until the whole square 
was filled. The music stopped. When 'Postle 
Godly began to speak his voice carried to every 
one there, even up the side streets. 

130 



21 



' ' YEAH?" 

"John, Mike. John, holy jumpin' waddle- 
laddle-laddle — ab-tab-tab-tab-tab-tah " 

"What?" 

"I says waddle-laddle-laddle-waddle-waddle- 
ah -tab -tab -tab 

"For Gawd's sake, man, don't holler so loud 
and take it easy. Now, try it again." 

"John, Jesus, Mary and the Little Sisters of 
St. Tapioca, come up to the Crusader Stadium 
right away. The niggers is goin' crazy. They're 
rollin' on the ground and it's eight o'clock and 
I'm here since six and there ain't a nigger voted 
since the polls opened. Me and Svitka can't do 

131 



nothing with 'em, nothing! A nigger priest has 
got 'em and he's givin' 'em fits." 

"Well, tell the cops to throw the sonnabitch 
in jail." 

"Are you crazy? Don't you want to win this 
election? You better come up here right away and 
see what you can do. But whatever you do, no 
rough stuff." 

"O.K. Good-bye. . . . Pheeeew!" 



32 



2£ 



THE MOTORIZED RIOT SQUAD cleared a 
way through the people for the Packard with the 
top down. In the back seat sat the Mayor with 
Charlie, the Hog, and Harne, the Shoat, on 
either side of him. First, the not squad roared 
around the field, throttles open wide, klaxons 
squawking, and the cop in each sidecar holding his 
nightstick out at arm's length from his right side. 
Then the Mayor toured a slow lap, standing up 
and doffing his hat; and finally the Packard 
stopped by the big truck parked alongside the 
centerfield bleachers. 'Postle Godly glanced up 
from his huge Bible when the Mayor roared: 

"Howdy, 'Postle! Kinda warm for election 
day. Don't let me interrupt. I just thought maybe 

x 33 



I could take you in my car to cast your vote," and 
waved Harrie by the scruff of the neck, 

'Postle Godly spoke into the little microphone 
screwed to the lectern' s edge: 

"Here it is. Ninth chapter of Revelation. Verse 
fifteen." 

Loud speakers under the roofs of the grand- 
stands blared his words back across the field. 

'And the four angels were loosed which were 
prepared for an hour and a day and a month and 
a year, for to slay the third part of the men. And 
the number of the horsemen were two hundred 
THOUSAN' THOUSAN', and I heard the 
number of them. And thus I saw the horses in 
the vision, and them that sat upon them, having 
breastplates of FIRE, and of jacinth and brim- 
stone. And the heads of the horses were as heads 
of LIONS, and out of their mouths issued FIRE 
and SMOKE and BRIMSTONE.' " 

The people began to fall on their knees and 
wring their hands. 

"Oh, peace, 'Postle . . . peace." 

'Postle Godly shook his head relentlessly from 
side to side. 

"Don't take my word for it. Listen what the 

*34 



Good Book say. Listen to the Word of the Lord, 
right here in Revelation. Chapter nine. You all 
seen that fire this mornin'. Here it is right down 
here in the good book: 'And the heads of the 
horses were as heads of LIONS and out of their 
mouths issued FIRE and SMOKE and BRIM- 
STONE!' That was those LIONS you heard 
roaring and what you seen was FIRE and 
SMOKE and BRIMSTONE. 

"And what do it say here in the Good Book 
that this yere FIRE and this yere SMOKE and 
this yere BRIMSTONE done to the sinners and 
the gamblers and the midnight rounders? Listen 
to what it say right here. Ninth chapter of Reve- 
lation. Verse eighteen. This yere is what it done: 
'By these three,' it say, 'was the third part 
of the men KILLED, by the FIRE, and by the 
SMOKE and by the BRIMSTONE, which is- 
sued out of their mouths!' And that don't mean 
just the MEN, it means the WOMEN, too. It 
mean all MANKIND. It mean EVER'BODY! 

"And listen to what else it say here: 'For the 
power is in their mouths and in their tails: for 
their tails were like unto SERPENTS, and had 
heads, and with them they do HURT.' You all 

*35 



seen the TAIL on that thing last night. It was 
one long tail. And maybe you think because it 
didn't hurt you it ain't comin' AGAIN." 

The people began to groan and bend. 
' 'And the REST of the men,' that's you all 
and EVER'BODY, 'which were not killed by 
these plagues REPENTED NOT of the works 
of their hands, that they should not worship 
DEVILS and IDOLS of GOLD and SILVER 
and BRASS and STONE and WOOD, which 
neither can see nor hear nor talk.' That's YOU. 
THAT'S YOU ALL right here in the Good 
Book. Don't it say right here, Ninth chapter 
Revelation, Verse twenty, don't it say they RE- 
PENTED NOT? And didn' you all hear that 
fire say REPENT! REPENT! REPENT! Didn' 
you? 

"And here's the end of the chapter. 'Neither 
REPENTED they of their murders, nor of their 
sorceries, nor of their fornications, nor of their 
thefts.' That's you, oh, that's you. All you killers 
an' knifers. All you midnight rounders an' foolers 
around. All you creepers an' scronchers. All you 
stealers an' thievers. 

"An' you sorcerers. All you fortune tellers and 

i 3 6 



all you gamblin' men, all you numbers players 
and crap shooters, all you boh to boys and poker 
dealers. You are a BUNCH OF SNAKES! RE- 
PENT! REPENT! REPENT! Or that FIRE and 
that SMOKE and that BRIMSTONE gon' get 
you tonight like it say right here in the Good 
Book." 

The people began to bay and yap and roll on 
the ground. Then like a mighty army of giant 
black ants they crawled across the field to the 
truck. A hundred thousand hands stretched to- 
wards it. There was a vast soft weeping. Chopsie 
Simons, still in her night-club lace, stumbled 
through the creepers and scrambled up on the 
truck tail. She grovelled to him and embraced his 
feet and clung there weeping and shaking. 

"Oh, please, 'Postle, peace. Oh, baptise me, 
'Postle. Baptise me." 

"Will y'all be BAPTISED?" 

"Oh, baptise us, 'Postle . . . Hallelujiah! . . . 
Oh, peace, peace . . . Baptise us, 'Postle . . . Oh, 
peace! 

"If you REPENT, then shall ye be baptised. 
The water will be cold, sinners, but that FIRE 
and that SMOKE and that BRIMSTONE will 

l 37 



be HOT. And so ye shall suffer that y'all can 
obtain SALVATION." 

"Hallelujiah! . . . Oh, peace, peace . . . Baptise 
us, 'Postle, oh, baptise us . . . Peace!" 

'Postle Godly bent down. Expertly, with one 
hand he disconnected Chopsie Simons and with 
the other the wires of the microphone. He nodded 
to Peace at Any Price. The trombones thundered 
into "Gather at the River." Slowly the truck 
started for the north exit. 

We will ga-uh-ther at the ri-uh-ver, 

The beautiful, the beautiful ah-ri-uh-ver. 

We will gather, gather, gather at that ri-uh-ver 

That flows by the throne of God. 

The people swarmed after. 

"If I was you I'd scram, Your Honor," a 
police inspector suggested. 

The Mayor was standing up in the back of 
the open Packard. In his right hand he still held 
Harrie, the shoat, by the scruff of the neck. 



38 



£3 



SATCHELLS WINS BY 80,000 PLURALITY 

DEMOCRATS CARRY COUNTY 

CITY MANAGEMENT SNOWED UNDER 

ran the streamers in the extras. 

Somewhere above the grand ballroom of the 
Statler, Harne Satchells sat on the edge of a 
bathtub and sipped from a champagne glass, a 
magnum by his feet. Charlie McQuilty and the 
re-elected District Attorney Gerard stood up and 
listened. 

"Oh, God, I'll die. First of all the phosphorus 

J 39 



didn't show up at all. Lousy. Looked like a consti- 
pated lightning bug on a cold night. So Eddie 
got out a little all-metal job and we pitched in 
and painted her black. Geez, did we sling paint! 
I was about the color of 'Postle Godly when I 
got through, and it took me all day to turp it 
off my face and hands. What a night! What a 
lovely, lovely night." 

He took a sip of champagne and choked with 
laughter. 

"Then we wired about a ton of waste soaked 
in oil to the top wing. Eddie didn't want to do 
it at first, because it wasn't his bus, but I told 
him damn the torpedoes and to hell with the 
expense. 'This is a Republican year,' I told him. 
'We can only burn up once. Anything for a just 
cause.' And he said 'Yes, I know, but this crate 
belongs to a prominent Democrat.' And then he 
told me whose it was and ah-ha-ha-ha, oh, God, 
I'll die." 

Again he sipped and choked. 

"Listen, get this and then we'll all die. It 
belongs to, ah-ha, oh, God, to little Ike Wimpel, 
Milt Wimpel's brother!" 

"No!" 

140 



4 'Oh, God, ain't that rich. Don't he know 
about it yet?" 

"No, he's in Europe and Eddie hopes to get 
the black paint turped off before he gets back. 
Well, anyway, the radio guy sweats blood switch- 
ing the mike and loud speaker onto the all-metal 
job and about 2:30 we're set. We landed on the 
Windermere golf course just above Sicily and lit 
the waste. Everything broke swell. I was scared 
the waste wouldn't burn, not to mention the 
goddam plane blowing up. But Eddie carried 
very little gas and his only worry was that he 
might run out. What a man! You can't beat 
those old night bombers. 

"Well, we got over Sicily in about ten seconds 
and then I opened up with the fire siren and 
Eddie started to bust-off chimneys and church 
steeples. Geez, can that boy fly! How'd we look?" 

"Marvelous. There was so much fire and the 
black paint and all, you couldn't see the plane 
unless you were looking for it." 

"And the sound effects. REPENT! RE- 
PENT! REPENT! Oh, God, I'll die. And then 
we climbed way to hell up and out of sight. What 
a man, that Eddie! Charlie, I'm going to start a 

141 



Police Air Force and make him the inspector in 
command." 

"Say, that's a great idea. Police Air Force, eh? 
Fine. And while we're at it we better make this 
Godly somethin'." 

"The 'Postle! God, I nearly forgot him. How 
was he, Alec?" 

"Oh, wonderful. He baptised every nigger in 
Sicily till a whole hour after the polls closed." 

"Fine, let's make him Chaplain to the Fire 
Department. Or, I got it: how about Smoke In- 
spector?" 

"Ah-ha-ha-ha . . . hoh-hoh-hoh . . . hee-hee- 
hee ..." 

A knock, and a pimply- faced youth stuck his 
head around the door. 

"Phone for you, Your Honor. It's a Mr. Von 
Tanneck. Says it's very special." 

"Oh, thanks. Excuse me a minute. I'll just 
take this call out here . . . 

"Hello, Fritz! When did you blow in?" 

"Congratulations, Mr. Mayor. Gee, Harrie, 
it's great. Fine work. I hear it's a Republican clean- 
up all over town." 

"Well, we seem to have lost the county and 
142 



they've got a few aldermen still. But I guess we 
ought to leave the Democrats something, just to 
keep 'em in practice, eh? Ah-ha-ha-ha. By the 
way, did you see what happened to good old 
Dearsie? Dearsie Dorsey?" 

"Oh, that big nance! I didn't even know he 
was sick." 

"No, this City Manager amendment he was 
behind. Only pulled 7,500 votes or so. I feel kind 
of sorry for poor old Dearsie. He was so wrapped 
up in it, I honestly wish he'd made a better 
showing. Dearsie' s really not a bad guy when 
you know him. Well — thanks awfully for calling 
up, Fritz. How long you here for?" 

"For the week, I guess. Uh, listen, Harne, you 
know 'The Frillies' opened here last night and 
I'm, uh, sort of interested in the show and fol- 
lowing it around until it gets whipped into shape 
for Broadway. You know." 

"Sure, Fritz. I know." 

"Well, listen, Harne, I wonder if you'd care 
to drop up to the Schlitz? I'm throwing a little 
party, just a couple of the gals " 

"Oh, God, Fritz, I can't now. Look at the 
spot I'm in. I've got to turn square " 

*43 



"Just a minute!" 

"Hewo, Hawie!" 

"Oh, hello! And who may this be?" 

"I'se 'oo fwend. Wants 'oo turn over and pway 
wif me?" 

"Gee, I'm awfully sorry, but I don't think I 
can tonight. I don't really see how I can possibly 
make it. But, well, uh, let's see now, what time 
is it?" 

"Oo, iss erwy, erwy, not wate." 

"Well, I might come over for a few minutes, 
at that, just to say, hello." 

"Ooo, dass nice. Don't be 'cared. I'se bwonde 
wiff turls." 

"Why, uh, that's perfectly splendid. Let me 
talk to Fritz again, will you?" 

"Hello, Harrie. That's Jessica Dolbee, our boop 
singer. I'm about ready to boop her one in the 
schnozzle, myself. Bring a cleaver along and we'll 
choose up for a torso mystery." 

"Wuh, Fritz, uh, you know I'm a sucker for 
a straight boop. Ah-ha-hah-hah. Listen, uh, I 
think maybe I will drop over for just a little while. 
Just to have a little visit with you. That is if you 
promise to forgive me if I duck early." 

144 



"Oh, swell, Harrie. It's suite A, 26th floor. 
It's grand you can come. I'll be seem' you." 

Satchells stuck his head around the bathroom 
door. 

"Gents, if you'll forgive me, I think I'll go get 
some sleep. Good night and God bless you." 



M5 



£4 






THE MAYOR went home shortly after mid- 
night. On the billowy bosom of Mrs. Holtsapple 
he wept, wept unashamedly. 

"Oh, mamma, they jobbed me," he said over 
and over. "They jobbed me, jobbed me, mamma, 
jobbed me, jobbed me. Mamma, they jobbed 
me. 



146 



25 



THE LAST PIECE OF COPY for the late city 
edition of the Malta Morning Mail had just gone 
down the chute to the composing room. Dirty, 
charred around the eyesockets and a little drunk, 
George Oates lifted his eyeshade, looked up and 
saw Phillip Dorsey standing beside his chair. 

"Hello, sweetheart. What do you think of 
the way things went? All my condolences." 

"Thanks. We didn't do as well as I'd hoped, 
but it's merely a matter of education, and educa- 
tion takes time. I'm glad that drunken windbag, 
Holtsapple, is out, anyway." 

"Say, what the hell kind of a switcheroo did 
they pull on him up there, for God's sake?" 

"I don't know, but the only votes cast on the 

*47 



whole island were by the Spanish and the Portu- 
guese and they voted for Satchells. And speaking 
of Satchells, I certainly hope he's going to settle 
down now and attend to business." 

"Oh, he will, he will. Harrie'll make us a 
good mayor. I hope. He'll photograph better than 
Holtsapple, anyway. Well, it had to come some 
time. I guess this was still some of that last 
year's Hoover ground swell, switcheroo or no 
switcheroo." 

"That was wonderful. Wonderful," Dorsey 
said. "I mean getting an engineer into the White 
House. I think it's one of the greatest steps for- 
ward this country's ever taken. An engineer! A 
man who understands management and effi- 
ciency! That's what we need in politics — science, 
not the old, obsolete rule-of-thumb methods, but 
engineering. The people had sense enough to 
realize that, anyway." 

"Oh, yeah?" 



148 



26 



ON THE TOP FLOOR of the Onweata Build- 
ing, a dingy, four-story, brownstone holdover 
from the late '90 's, Charlie McQuilty had his 
offices. "Malta Service Co., Inc." was the in- 
scription on the ground glass door panel. Besides 
a few pieces of rachitic furniture, the Malta Serv- 
ice Co., Inc.'s equipment consisted almost en- 
tirely of cards, ruled cards, the kind of cards 
prospective Ph.D.'s use to cross-index Floral Ref- 
erences in the Canon of the Lake Poets. There 
were scores of little grained-oak boxes full of these 
cards all about McQuilty's offices. His pockets 
were filled with cards, no matter what suit he was 
wearing, and he seemed always to be shuffling 
and fussing with them, no matter what he was 

149 



ostensibly engaged in at the moment. This was 
not merely a nervous habit, like fingering the 
face or jingling keys: each of these cards con- 
tained the name, address, telephone number, 
sponsor and talents of some person who either 
had or wanted a job, and by job was meant either 
a position in public life or a commercial dealing 
with a public body. No matter how hard Mc- 
Quilty strove there were always more cards than 
jobs, but his life was dedicated to trying. And it 
was still trying the Mayor found him when he 
whisked open the door and stepped into the room 
a week after the election. McQuilty looked in 
alarm at the beaming face and without rising took 
the outstretched hand as though its palm were 
spread with itch powder. 

' 'Charlie, my boy, just thought I'd s'prise 
you," the Mayor roared. "Just thought I'd pay 
my respects/' 

He sat down on a corner of the desk and offered 
his opened cigar case. 

"Smoke? You ought to learn, Charlie, my boy, 
you ought to take up smoking if you're gonna 
run this Greater City for the next four years. Yes, 
sir, you ought to smoke cigars. What are those 

150 



fellows that make the pictures in the papers gonna 
do if you don't smoke cigars? They can't make 
a picture of a boss without he smokes a cigar, 
Charlie, my boy, and I can tell you right now 
your picture's gonna be in the paper an awful 
lotta times the next four years. You're the boss, 
Charlie, my boy, and you'll have to take it. Yes, 
sir, you'll have to take it in more ways than one, 
'cause you sure are the boss. Ha, ha, ha." 

The Mayor slapped him so hard across his 
skinny shoulders that a handful of the cards fell 
to the floor. 

"But that wasn't what I come to see you about, 
Charlie, my boy. What I come to see you about 
was I just wanted to drop in and pay my respects. 
I tried to see Harrie, but I couldn't find him, so 
I figured I'd come to the fountain head and pay 
my respects to you and you could convey 'em to 
him." 

"First of all, I want to say there's no hard 
feelings about the election, no squawks. That was 
certainly a mighty clever little stunt you boys 
pulled up in Sicily; yes, sir, mighty clever, and 
you deserved to win. Just outsmarted me, that's 
what you did, just outsmarted me. But it's all 

I 5 I 



over and done with now, so no squawks, no hard 
feelings. And I'm here to say that I wish you all 
the luck in the world, I honest to God do. Harrie's 
a fine boy, and he's gonna make this Greater City 
a wonderful mayor. I know that as much as you 
do. And I'm gonna tell the people so when he's 
sworn in, tell 'em all myself. Just to show the 
whole world there's no hard feelings I'll be there 
myself and tell 'em all in person." 

"That'll be nice," said McQuilty with ex- 
treme dyspepsia. 

"Yes, sir, Charlie, my boy, I'll be there myself 
to turn the reins over to Harrie in person and sing 
my own swan song. What the hell, it's only 
right, and it's time I was quitting anyway, after 
thirty years. I like to see fine young fellows get 
ahead and Harrie's certainly a fine young fellow. 
Yes, sir, Charlie, my boy, I'm through, through 
with public life, forever." 

"Goin' back to the law?" 

"Well, yes and no, Charlie, my boy, yes and 
no. In a way it's back to the law and then again 
it ain't exactly back to the law. I might as well 
tell you about it now I'm here, seeing as how 

you're gonna be associated with us " 

152 



"Yes, Charlie, my boy, I might as well tell 
you, we're letting you in on the ground floor. 
Here's our card." 

The Mayor handed him a business card with 
"Contracts Contacts Corporation" printed on it 
and down in the right hand corner: "John Norris 
(Jolly John) Holtsapple." 

McQuilty gave a hollow laugh. 

"Not interested," he said. "I got enough cards 
already." 

"Oh, yes, Charlie, my boy, you're interested, 
plenty interested. You're interested forty per 
cent. 

"What are you, crazy?" 

"Not crazy at all, Charlie, my boy, not crazy 
at all. I'm a man o£ vision, if you only knew it. 
But men of vision never did get a break in this 
world, only laughs like you're giving me now. 
They laughed at Shakespeare, they laughed at 
Fulton, they laughed at that sewing machine guy, 
they laughed at Edison. And now you're laugh- 
ing at me." 

"I certainly am," came through McQuilty's 
gritted store teeth. 

*53 



"But what happened? Did Shakespeare and 
Edison and Fulton and the sewing machine guy 
listen? Not them. They went right ahead and 
figured the angles and did their stuff, just as I'm 
gonna do mine. Only instead of laughing at you, 
I'm gonna cut you in on one of the sweetest, 
juiciest, prettiest little mushmelons you ever 
tasted." 

"Say, what the hell are you M 

"Just this. Did you ever figure the Greater 
City of Malta's run on a budget?" 

"I certainly did." 

"All right. The budget for next year's $689,- 
743,207.19, ain't it? Right. The estimates for 
each department was all drawn up by the depart- 
ment heads before August, wasn't they? Right. 
Then they was presented as a tentative budget on 
October 10th, wasn't they? Right. And the 
Board of Estimate passed the budget on October 
31st, didn't it? Right. But where is it now? It's 
with the Board of Aldermen now, ain't it? Cor- 
rect. And it don't come out till the 20th, does it? 
Correct. And then who's got to sign it before 
Christmas? Me. I got to sign it, I, John Norris 
Holtsapple, Mayor of the Greater City of Malta 

J 54 



until midnight, December 31, 1929. Do you be- 
gin to ketch on?" 

"Why that's a lousy swindle! The Board of 
Aldermen ain't never laid a finger on the budget 
in their life!" 

"Correct. But that ain't any sign they can't, is 
it? They're empowered by the law, ain't they? 
You know, Charlie, my boy, I think I know 
thirty-five fine up-standing members of that body, 
that Board of Aldermen, that might very easy get 
the idea that quite a good deal of that budget's 
pure wasted, pure wasted. Yes, I think they might 
get the idea very easy. And what about me? My 
conscience might tell me there's too much of the 
people's money getting poured down the sink. 
Yes, I think my conscience might bother me 
plenty. Plenty." 

"Why, you can't do a thing like that! It's 
robbery! The ever increasing needs of the 
people " 

"Aw, for Gawd's sake. Do I look like I just 
drove in a loada hay? Looka here, Charlie Mc- 
Quilty, you play ball with me, and no yentzing, 
neither, or by Gawd I'll louse up that budget so's 
you won't be able to meet a payroll for the next 

x 55 



four years. I'll fix it so's your whole mob'll run out 
on you by February. Just think that over." 

McQuilty did, for a long time. 

* 'Well, what do you want?" he said finally. 

"Nothing, Charlie, my boy, nothing, nothing 
but the privilege of doing you one of the sweetest 
favors that anybody ever done you. I'm starting 
up this little business venture, this Contracts 
Contacts Corporation with Doc Hinchman and 
Mike Raffigan and Orv Loftus as junior partners. 
We'll start in a small way at first. Of course, 
there'll be the county, but natcherly we want to 
get some city practice, too. We-e-el, we talked it 
over last night and thought it would be kinda nice 
if you took forty per cent of the stock." 

"Forty per cent of the stock! " 

"Keep that old shirt on, Charlie, my boy, keep 
that old shirt on. It ain't gonna cost you one 
penny. We're giving you the stock. All you do is 
sign the payroll, as the doughboys used to say in 
the war, but you do get a goddam cent, in this 
deal, you do, Charlie, my boy, plenty of 'em. 
There's millions in it and there's no reason why 
we should cut each other's throat. This crash 
didn't mean anything — your own Big Guy in 

r 5 6 



Washington said so, didn't he? This country's 
sound as a dollar and getting sounder alia time. 

"Now listen, Charlie, my boy, here's the pic- 
ture: We got the county; you got the city. We 
take sixty per cent of the county and give you 
forty per cent of it. You take sixty per cent of the 

city and give us forty per cent. Then " 

"Why, that's a goddam swindle!" 
"Keep that old shirt on, Charlie, my boy, wait 
till you get the picture. I don't mean 'take the 
city, take the county' like you mean. I mean this 
is all gonna be done in a business way, and not no 
cross-roads grocery store. When I say 'take' I 
mean here we are contacting our contracts. After 
a contract gets all contacted, say it's a county con- 
tract, why, we cut you in forty per cent of the 
gross. Now you been running this grand old 
county for fourteen, fifteen years and you natcher- 
ly know all the angles better' n us. So natcherly 
we'd be wanting to consult you from time to time. 
And we been running this Greater City for six- 
teen years now and natcherly we know all the 
angles better'n you. So natcherly you'd be want- 
ing to consult us every once in a while. See what 
I mean? Consulting, you know Charlie, my boy, 

x 57 



consulting, contracting, contacting alia time. 
Now, ain't that real, honest-to-goodness common 
sense, Charlie, my boy, ain't it? Ain't it, Char- 
lie, my boy? Ain't it? Sure it is, and you know it 
and I know it and we all know it." 



158 



27 



PHILLIP DORSEY started the New Year by 
making a joke. Making a joke was such a rare 
performance for Phillip Dorsey that he repeated it 
to himself several times and decided he must tell 
it to Hattie when he got home, it was so apposite 
to the occasion. The joke was: a new broom sweeps 
dirty. 

The joke came as he stood shivering in front 
of the City Hall and waited for Harrie Satchells 
to take the oath of office on the top step. He 
looked at the Republican phalanx massed there 
above the citizenry on the pavement: the district 
leaders soon to be gazetted Commissioners of This 
and Directors of That; the ward chairmen who 
would be their deputies; the precinct captains in 

*59 



line for sergeants' stripes in the Department of 
Street Cleaning or the Bureau of Hack Licenses; 
the ambitious young attorneys headed for the 
Magistrates' Courts or the Office of the Corpora- 
tion Counsel — all waiting for the new field mar- 
shal to take up his baton, his broom, his new 
dirty-sweeper. 

Physically, Phillip Dorsey decided, city politi- 
cians could be divided into a few easily classifiable 
types. First, of course, the big roomy men with 
red necks, dewlaps and fat even in their noses. 
These were the district leaders, the commissioners: 
Holtsapple, himself, belonged to this category. 
They always smoked fat cigars and showed high 
blood pressure after mirth or anger. Then there 
were the skinny, hollow-cheeked, caterpillar- 
moustached men, some tall, some short, who wore 
hard hats, diamonds and often suits of a mild 
check. Their shoes were always highly polished 
and they smoked stogies (if at all) and said little. 
McQuilty was a splendid specimen. Very plenti- 
ful among the younger men was the open-faced, 
Roman Catholic lad, schooled by the Jesuits or 
the Christian Brothers, a winner of prizes in logic 
and jurisprudence, serious and ogreishly ambi- 

160 



tious. As a Princeton Calvinist Dorsey disapproved 
and was tremendously suspicious of this type. 
Then there was the barrel-chested, round-skulled, 
block-pompadoured fellow in his early thirties, 
generally a night-school lawyer, always handy 
around the neighborhood district club whenever 
the leader wanted a job done. He had gold front 
teeth, wore coats with high waist-lines and was a 
prime mover in the affairs of the Burpee Street 
Boys' Association. And finally there was the Jew, 
the little, plump Jew with black curly hair, who 
stood with his hands behind his back, his head 
tilted to one side, smiling, smiling as though he 
were being tickled. 

Dorsey picked out half a dozen of these smilers 
in the phalanx above him. What the devil was 
there to smile at? Everybody was smiling. Why? 
All those men up there were a class apart, united 
in a common purpose. The freemasonry of free- 
bootery. Nice phrase, the freemasonry of free- 
bootery. Have to try it next time on the Civic 
Association. The freemasonry of freebootery. Yes, 
a class apart. 

Politicians are not like the rest of humanity, 
Dorsey reflected, not like us. As voters, yes, as 

161 



taxpayers, no. A politician looks on us as voters, 
but that we have to work and sweat and get the 
money to pay the taxes, no. To him a taxpayer is 
not a flesh-and-blood mammal. No, to him "tax- 
payer" is always spelled with a capital "T," to 
him a taxpayer is fifth cousin to the Man from 
Mars. No, politicians don't think the same, don't 
feel the same. They are not like us. Not 
like us. 

The phalanx began to cheer, and as the Mayor 
and Harrie Satchells stepped arm-in-arm into the 
speakers' booth that had been built on the steps 
the massed bands of the Police, Fire and Street 
Cleaning Departments ripped into 'Tor He's a 
Jolly Good Fellow" and the crowd screamed for 
twenty minutes. Satchells stood there pump- 
ing the Mayor's paw up and down and smiling 
delightedly at him. But his eyes were full of 
consternation, for the fat-flaps protruded like pop- 
overs. 

What a bundle! Geez, what a bundle! What 
a cargo! 

The crowd was making such a noise that Satch- 
ells thought it safe to put his lips up to the 
Mayor's right ear and shout: 

162 



"John. JOHN! Dear God, man, are you 
O.K.?" 

Then still smiling delightedly, he put his left 
ear to the Mayor's lips, but all he could make out 
was a walrus rumbling. The Mayor's eyes were 
nearly shut. Their pupils were indiscernible. 
Satchells tried again. 

"John! Get a grip on yourself, for God's sake, 
will you? You speak first." 

The Mayor made an effort terrible to behold. 
Finally he said: 

"O.K., Orv. O.K, now, m'O.K.'S these tight 
shoes, Orv, these here goddam tight shoes." 

The demonstration died away at last. The 
Mayor lurched a pace forward and only by des- 
perately seizing a microphone rod in each hand 
did he escape shooting out of the box and into 
the crowd. 

"Frez!" was what some in the front rows were 
able to catch, "here . . . mrrump, zizzz . . . 
mmmmm . . . todayee . . . wanna thank EVERY- 
BO'Y . . . zizzzzz . . . mmmmmurrrump! . . . 
this here Grea'er . . . zizzz . . . mmm . . . foah 
moah yeez of these here goddam tight shoes, frez 
. . . mmmmmurrrump! . . .oh, mamma, they 

,6 3 



job' me, mamma, they job' me, mamma, I was 
job' . . . mmm . . . zizzz ..." 

With a thunderous BAM the Mayor sat down, 
stiff-legged, taking the microphones with him. 
Tenderly they picked him up and led him away. 

Satchells stepped forward. 

"Our good friend had a sudden attack of ill- 
ness. I'm sure I express the feelings of all of us 
here when we say that we extend our sympathy 
and hope for his immediate recovery." 

There was half a minute's dignified applause. 
City Clerk Abe Walters advanced with his Bible 
and mumbled the oath of office. With his left 
hand on the book and his right raised on high, 
Satchells waited until he had finished and then 
said very seriously: 

"I do, so help me God." 

Flashlights boomed and the crowd went crazy. 

' 'I will, I will. I'll be the best goddam mayor 
this goddam town ever had," he said to himself 
and tried not to cry. 

McQuilty smiled from the front row of the 
phalanx. 

"Well, we're at the feedbox now," he said to 
himself and tried not to laugh. 

164 



Dorsey stamped one foot and then the other. 

"Not like us. A new broom sweeps dirty. The 
freemasonry of freebootery," he thought and tried 
not to spit. 

The massed bands of the Police, Fire and Street 
Cleaning Departments ripped into "We Can't 
Give You Anything but Votes, Harrie" and the 
Mayor turned to embrace his daughter, Florence. 



65 



£8 



THE MAYOR was on a week's cruise through 
Chesapeake Bay as guest of honor on the yacht of 
Eddie Schnullbarger, the bus magnate, so the 
news of the death of Deputy Commissioner Rose 
Bnx, Head of the Bureau of Crime Prevention, did 
not come to him until he landed back in Malta on 
Wednesday. There was a radio on board the yacht, 
and the Mayor might have listened in on the 
Malta Morning Mail's "News Flash Half Hour" 
and heard Deputy Commissioner Bnx's taking-off 
elaborately described. But as Jessica Dolbee (some- 
how she had not opened on Broadway with "The 
Frillies") stood on tables and favored with un- 
requested boop numbers most of the trip, the 
radio was used very little. 

166 



The pony got Deputy Commissioner Bnx, got 
her during a game of water polo among the lily 
pads, apparently, for her body was found on the 
edge of Washington Park Lake. Leonard Traubel, 
a climber and pruner to the Department of Parks 
($2,500 a year) found the body. At first, the 
Homicide Squad was interested in just what 
climbing and pruning had been going on at 
5:30 A.M.; but the subject was dropped when it 
was discovered that Traubel was a bail bondsman 
and a nephew of McQuilty's. Exactly as in the 
Gozo killing, the mark of a pony's shoe encased 
the left eye of the victim. Dr. Herman Watch- 
master, Chief Medical Examiner ($10,000 a 
year and McQuilty's brother-in-law) declared 
that the body had been in the water approximate- 
ly ten hours. Death had been caused by drowning 
preceded by skull fracture. 

The police found a real clue this time, for there 
had been a few ponies in Washington Park since 
the 'go's which children rode over the Mall 
for ten cents a quarter hour. A cordon was thrown 
(by that confirmed cordon-thrower, Inspector 
Gerald W. Dooley) around the pony pens and 
Serge Putnik, a Croat who held the pony con- 

,67 



cession, was arrested and taken to Police Head- 
quarters for investigation. The killing of one of 
their own always rouses the police like no other 
crime, and Putnik was intensively investigated. 
Lieutenant Hannah McMurtraw kicked him in 
the stomach more often than any other inves- 
tigator. 

''Kill my chief, hey?'' she kept screaming dur- 
ing the investigation. "So you won't talk? A 
Croat, hey? I'll give you Croats!" 

BAM! 

At the end of two days Putnik signed a confes- 
sion in which he admitted causing a trick burro 
in his stable to kick Deputy Commissioner Brix. 
According to the signed confession, she was bend- 
ing over inspecting the burro's off hind hoof when 
he jabbed a pin in the burro's flank and made it 
kick. Under cover of darkness he threw the body 
into the lake. The motive for the crime was Dep- 
uty Commissioner Brix's threat to have him jailed 
and his concession taken away for cruelty to 
animals. 

The confession was given to the press by the 
new Police Commissioner, Harold F. Hobelman 
(a plumbing supply dealer by profession) with 

168 



the jubilant promise of a solution of the Gozo kill- 
ing within another twenty-four hours. 

Thereupon the case collapsed and so fast that 
the Office of the District Attorney refused even to 
take the prisoner before a magistrate for arraign- 
ment. In the first place, Putnik had been at home 
in bed with lumbago thirty-six hours before and 
twelve hours after the crime and there were seven- 
teen witnesses to prove it. In the second place, 
there was no burro in the Washington Park pony 
corral. In the third place, none of the ponies had 
ever been shod, and the mark encasing the de- 
ceased's eye incontrovertibly had been made by a 
shoe. In the fourth place, Putnik was not the 
pony concessionaire at all, but the popcorn fritter 
concessionaire, who had just happened to be stand- 
ing near the pony pen when the cordon was 
thrown. And finally, Putnik had paid the Greater 
City of Malta $25,000 for his popcorn fritter con- 
cession, so what the hell? 

The adverse publicity given the ponies ruined 
the pony business throughout the Greater City's 
public park system. Malta's mothers would as 
soon have let their children mount king cobras. It 
didn't matter much, anyway, as most of these 

169 



public park ponies died of pneumonia after Dr. 
Watchmaster ordered them all led into lakes by 
the cursing police. He wanted to see if a pony's 
legs under water could kick with any real force. 
Some could and some couldn't, he decided. It cost 
the Greater City $8,600. 

Lieutenant McMurtraw never got over her 
hatred of ponies. She used to kick them in the 
crupper whenever she saw them. 

"Rrrah! I hate a lousy pony," she used to say 
as she delivered her crupper kicks. "Get that 
lousy little skin outa here before I lock you both 
up. 

All of this the Mayor missed as he sat on 
Eddie Schnullbarger's yacht with his arms around 
a certain party and said low and fast: "Jessica 
Dolbee, Dossica Jelbee, Dessica Jolbee, Jossica 
Delbee, Jessica, Jessica, Jessica, Jessica, Jes- 
sica 



170 



29 



MIKE RAFFIGAN stood on the splintery plat- 
form outside the administration office at Mus- 
well's Island and shouted to the foreman who was 
sitting beside the driver of the bell- weather truck. 
In any direction you looked rose the mountains, 
most of them volcanoes. For Muswell's Island was 
the city dump, the dump of the Greater City of 
Malta, a municipal mountain range that grew in- 
stead of eroding with the years and had burned for 
nearly half a century, smoking like the marl of 
hell. The mountains were of ashes, used grape- 
fruit, busted hobby horses, old hats, swill and the 
physical nonsense known as "rubbish" that con- 
sists of crumpled paper, lint, fluff, waste, shards, 
broken buttons, swirls of string, jagged glass, 
chicken bones and heel cakes of mud. 

171 



The dust choked Mike, and the smell reminded 
him of the old days Back of the Yards. He had to 
shout above the roar of the truck and the roars of 
the trucks behind it, the dun-colored trucks that 
ran back down the road out of sight. 

"All right, now/' Mike was shouting. 

"Shoo, buss, I know," the foreman, Joe Spivac, 
said placidly. 

"All right. Two hunnad an' sixty-two loads. 
Now you go down to Holtsapple Square. You 
ketchum, Holtsapple Square?" 

"Shoo, buss, I know." 

"All right. Holtsapple Square, right next to 
County Building — you ketchum County Build- 
ing? 

"Shoo, buss, I know." 

"All right. By County Building you find big 
hole. You dump cinders in hole. You ketchum?" 

Mike demonstrated dumping cinders in a hole 
by poking downwards with his right forefinger. 

"Shoo, buss, I know." 

"All right. When you're all unloaded, come 
back and get more till they tell you to lay off. 
You ketchum?" 

"Shoo, buss, I know." 

172 



"All right. Scram.' 1 

"Shoo, buss, I know." 

The driver threw out his clutch, slipped the 
gear shift into low, let in his clutch and the truck 
started slowly down the road. Carefully Mike 
counted them as they rolled past. 

"Two hunnad an sixty-two," he said to Or- 
ville Loftus, who had been leaning against the 
building with his hat over his eyes and his hands 
in his pockets. "Two hunnad an' sixty-two. Some 
parade! Reminds me of a pitcher I seen once, a 
war pitcher. What was the name of that now? 

"Wasn't 'Nanook of the North' was it, with 
Pola Bara?" 

"Noooh, 'Nanook'? Noooh. No, that wasn't 
the name. Let's see now, what was it? They was 
a big parade of trucks in it just like this here, only 
they wasn't cinders in 'em, they was soldiers. 
Let's see now " 



73 



3o 



BY JULY, 1930, one of the Democratic dailies 
was referring to him editorially as "Our Peacock 
Mayor," while another spoke of his efforts as 
"Our Harvard Classics or Five Foot Shelf City Ad- 
ministration" which devoted but "Fifteen Min- 
utes a Day to the People's Business." But this 
was unjust, unfair. No Mayor Malta ever had 
worked harder for the Greater City of Malta. 

Almost as soon as he was installed he became 
Malta's Own, Malta's Prince of Wales, Our 
Harrie. Everybody loved him, the Nice People, 
the Great Middle Class, the Lower Orders, every- 
body. At Union League dinners some old lambre- 
quins was always coming up to wheeze: "My boy, 
I knew your grandfather, heh-heh-heh" ; and at 

x 74 



Junior League luncheons some young piece of 
goods was always cooing: "Mr. Mayor, I know 
your daughter." Chambers of Commerce (and 
throughout the Greater City there were dozens of 
different kinds) , merchants' organizations, neigh- 
borhood associations, business men's clubs of every 
variety strove for the honor of his presence at their 
tables. 

"A mighty fine, sensible fellow with both feet 
on the ground," was one of the things they said 
to each other about him. 

And to the Man in the Gutter and the Woman 
on the Stoop he was that fine flower of democ- 
racy, "a right guy." Cable splicers, beef luggers 
and truck drivers were always repeating to their 
wives some garbled message they had spelled out 
in that afternoon's tabloid as conversation they had 
had with him in person. 

"Listen, I seen Harrie Satchells this mornin\ 
and he says to me " 

"Harrie Satchells! You mean the Mayor?" 

"Sure I mean the Mayor. Harrie Satchells, he 
tells me " 

"You know the Mayor? Harrie Satchells, the 
Mayor?" 

x 75 



"Do I know the Mayor? Who, Harrie Satch- 
ells? Why, Harrie's me pal. Sure I knowum. 
Listen, he says to me, Harrie says, 'Mike,' he 
says 

And they really did think they knew him, they 
really did. They honestly and sincerely believed 
he was their pal. And in a way he was. It was 
that astounding faculty he had for getting to peo- 
ple right off. Some men, a few men, are that way 
with nearly all women, but it's even rarer you 
find a man who can set other men besides nearly 
all women on fire. The Mayor was one of those 
rarities. 

Getting to people and setting them on fire be- 
came his life. It grew into a game he played with 
himself to see how fast he could ignite any given 
collection of them. Within a year he had come to 
regard the feelings of a group of his fellow mor- 
tals as a pyromaniac looks on the wooden rafters 
of an orphan asylum. By the end of the second 
year he was a torch murderer of the human emo- 
tions. Sometimes, as when he attended a fight or 
a hockey match or a race meeting or dropped in 
at a night club, all he had to do was to stand up in 
his box or rise at his ringside table and flip his 

176 



hand in greeting at the crowd. On other occasions, 
if he were riding in an open car and felt so moved, 
he would lean out and salute exaggeratedly and 
yell: "Hahya!" at some bridge tender or bus con- 
ductor or little clerk standing on a corner with his 
girl. Especially the little men whose pants made 
them look as though they were crouched for a 
mighty jump upwards and away from the girls 
they were standing with. "Hahya! " he would 
yell right in their faces, leaning out and saluting. 
That'll make their day for 'em, he would tell him- 
self, that'll fix 'em up with their tootses all right. 
He always felt better after these little gestures, 
and now and then, when low, he would order a 
car and go out merely on one of these saluting 
expeditions. 

But all this was too easy, hardly counted. What 
counted was when he would set fire to some seem- 
ingly fire-proof collection of hearers, say the 
Dames of Antient Malta, a group of ultra, ultra, 
ultra old ladies. Malta was founded in 1649 wnen 
a little band of Maltese fishermen, farmers and 
fugitives from justice sailed into the harbor and 
purchased the land the Greater City was to rise 
on from the Indians for the usual beads and hand 

177 



mirrors and then squatted on it. The Dames of 
Antient Malta were the descendants of this little 
band of fishermen, farmers and fugitives from 
justice, or had established themselves as such, and 
their crustiness had grown with the years. Did 
the Mayor set them on fire? He did, and as easily 
as though they had been the South Side Turn- 
verein and his subject Beer. 

When the Mayor spoke before any gathering, 
almost any gathering whatsoever, he generally 
gave it the At-Last-Here's-One-of-Us-At-the- 
Helm approach, and this approach, although he 
varied it infinitely and subtly, was the most effi- 
cient of all his oratorical flame-throwers. First 
everybody would laugh and get warm and feel 
fine, and the next thing everybody was all choky. 
And when it was over, if it were women they 
would be screaming and waving things or if there 
were flowers on the tables they would be throwing 
them; and if it were men they would be standing 
up and bellowing and punching at the sky with 
their fists and feeling they could walk up and 
smack a police inspector right across the puss. 
A funny thing was that when you read these 
speeches in the papers the next day they weren't 

178 



so hot, seldom more than lukewarm, in fact. 
Everybody in the country had heard about Harne 
Satchells before he had been in office a year, and 
out-of-town visitors to Malta were all crazy for a 
sight of him. Many of them had read his speeches, 
as sent out in part by the news services, and won- 
dered how there could be so much talk about a 
man who didn't sound so extra special on paper. 
But after they heard him and saw him in action, 
they knew different, as Al Smith used to say over 
the radio back in 1928, they knew different. He 
set them on fire, too. Generally he gutted them. 

Take, for example, the gutting of the Dames 
of Antient Malta. It began: 

"My friends, it's fine to be here today and to 
meet people like yourselves. I spend most of my 
time hobnobbing with, shall we say, all sorts and 
conditions of men, ah-ha-ha-ha, and an occasion 
like this — well, it's rather like coming out of the 
trenches after a heavy bombardment, ah-ha-ha-ha. 
Not that my colleagues, every single one of them, 
aren't the best fellows in the world, but not many 
of them, I'm afraid, would understand what a 
gathering like this was all about. 

'Silk stockings,' I'm afraid they'd say, and 
179 



shake their heads and go on about their duties. 
Only the other day one came up to me and said, 
'Harrie' (of course they all call me Harrie. I'm 
afraid it's my lack of official dignity, ah-ha-ha-ha) 
'Harrie,' this colleague of mine said (he was an 
office boy) 'Harrie, I just can't figure you out. 
You're a silk stockin' and yet you're a regular 
guy!' Ah-ha-ha-ha . . ." 

Some more of this for awhile, and then that far- 
away look came over his face: "But seriously, my 
friends, it's a great honor to be here with you 
today, and it's a great opportunity to try to con- 
vey to you what a hard, hard job it is I am making 
an attempt to fill. Sometimes I scarcely dare think 
about it myself, it's such a terrifying thing, being 
head of a great city like this. I really don't dare let 
myself analyze my job too much or I'd probably 
go out of my mind. The only thing I can do is to 
plunge in and try my best. Whether I'm to be a 
success or a failure is for the future to decide, but 
one thing I'll promise here and now — although 
I've done the very best that's in me so far, I'll 
always be trying to do better . . ." 

He went on like this until the match caught 
the paper and the paper caught the kindling and 

180 



the kindling caught the logs and burned them 
through the bark. Finally, it came time to throw 
on the benzine: 

"And, please, my friends, please don't think 
that I'm just another politician trying to cadge 
your votes. Whatever you may think of me, I beg 
of you not to think that. When I say I love this 
great city of ours I want you to believe me. And 
I want you to believe me when I say that I love 
not only this great city but all its great citizenry. 
A part of this great citizenry is this society, the 
Dames of Antient Malta. For generations you 
have kept the memory of our forefathers fresh 
and green. And this has been a fine thing, a won- 
derful thing. But let me urge you to think not 
only of the past but also of the present and of the 
future, too. Our city's present and its future de- 
pend on the good will and co-operation of the 
whole of its citizenry. People like yourselves 

No notes, no hesitation, no finger-shaking, no 
table-pounding. Just beautiful, sleepy smoothness 
and a fine double-charged voice. Not exactly in- 
flammatory in type you would say and you would 
be right. But when he bowed gently and sat down, 
the Dames of Antient Malta threw up their ear 
trumpets. 

!8l 



31 



ANY METROPOLITAN MAYOR who fails 
to give his constituents one Big Splash a year may 
be said to suffer from political halitosis. A Big 
Splash is some deed, action, program or accom- 
plishment he identifies himself with that will stick 
in the public memory for a twelvemonth, by 
which time another Big Splash may be thought up 
and engineered. The Mayor's Big Splash for his 
first year of office was the reception to King Barel 
of Moldavia. Big Splash for 1931 was the settle- 
ment of the traction strike. 

A detailed description of Malta's transit situa- 
tion would be nearly as hard for the non-specialist 
to understand as a paper on astral physics ; but the 
rough idea was Save the Five Cent Fare. It really 

182 



cost the average Maltese a good deal more than a 
nickel to ride on the subway or the elevated or the 
surface lines, for the Greater City of Malta 
pumped millions and millions into the operating 
expenses of the Malta Rapid Transit Corporation, 
which were all duly totted up in the average Mal- 
tese's tax bill. But the convenience of not having 
to scrabble in purse or pants pocket for a lot of 
odd pennies whenever a ride in a common carrier 
was required appealed to everybody. So when the 
Transit Workers Brotherhood, a newly organized 
body not affiliated with the American Federation 
of Labor, demanded an increase in pay and a re- 
duction of the working day from ten to eight 
hours and of the working week from seven to six 
days, the Malta Rapid Transit Corporation re- 
fused these demands. The Brotherhood threatened 
to walk out on strike at midnight, July 3d. The 
Corporation refused again and howled in the press 
that the demands of the Brotherhood constituted 
arrant highway robbery, nothing else, and to grant 
them would necessitate an abandonment of the 
Five Cent Fare. 

Facing each other from either side of a long 
mahogany table, Capital and Labor were grap- 

.83 



pling in another of their conventional deadlocks. 
At the table's head sat the Mayor. 

Yes, he reflected, the old deadlock. He looked 
at his watch. Exactly 11:27 p.m. July 2. Pretty 
near nine hours now they'd been parked here on 
their big fat boowhinkles. And a woman waits 
for me. Strike midnight tomorrow. Funny how 
much the torchbearers of Capital and Labor were 
getting to look like each other. Nackles over there 
looked like the vice president of a suburban bank, 
while old Mr. Keans on this side might very well 
be a retired track-walker. You could switch all the 
Capitals over to the Labor side of the table and 
the Labors over to the Capital side and nobody' d 
know the difference. Arrest 'em all and put 'em in 
a row at a police line-up and you couldn't pick out 
which was which to save your life. Physiognomy 
was a lot of crap, the Mayor decided. He also 
decided he was getting sick of looking at men's 
faces. What a lot of dreary pans, and all alike as 
so many ballbearings. 

"Prrrrooo." 

From the lower right pocket of his vest he drew 
a little metal object and spun it on to the table 
with a sharp twitch of his thumb and forefinger. 

184 



The little metal object hopped down the mahog- 
any catching the light on its twirling silver sides 
until it halted between Nackles and old Mr. 
Keans and then fell over. 

"Well, I'll be goddamned if it ain't a put-and- 
take top!" said Nackles, taking it up in amaze- 
ment. "Why, Harne, I ain't seen one of these 
here little things in it must be ten years now." 

He spun it on the table. Old Mr. Keans took 
his cigar out of his mouth and the glaze began to 
leave his eyes as he watched. The other torch- 
bearers all bent forward and undamped their 
cigars. 

The strike was over. And the Big Splash for 
1 93 1 was over, too. 



85 



3£ 



AT 10 A.M. JOHN HOLTSAPPLE arrived at 
the offices of the Contracts Contacts Corporation, 
which occupied most of the sixty-eighth floor of 
the new Malta Trust Building. On the way to 
his own rosewood retreat he gave every female 
employee he could reach a chub and a basso: 
"Good morning! " The dealing of these chubs had 
become such a regular procedure that when female 
employees encountered him they calmly held their 
cheeks in readiness until they had been pinched 
and then went ahead and transacted their business 
just as though nothing had happened. Such a mat- 
ter of office routine had this chubbing grown to 
be that they no longer even watched each other 
getting chubbed, much less squealed out. Miss 

186 



Katzenbach of the Mailing Department voiced 
the opinion of all when she said: 

"Well, it is kinda silly, but it's not hardly a 
thing that would get a girl into trouble. And it's 
certai'ly better than what some of the men you 
work for do to you. Hones'ly, more men don't 
have no co'sideration for a girl! My dear, a lawyer 
I worked for in Dorking one time 

These cheek-tweakings were indeed innocent, 
mere symbols of the Holtsapple good will these 
days towards the entire solar system, sheer over- 
flowing of the contactile spirit. 

"Good morning!" 

His secretary, Miss Ripley, waiting in the rose- 
wood retreat, received a double chub. She did not 
miss a beat. 

"Morning, Mr. Holtsapple; we certainly have 
a big day ahead of us. There are eleven people 
waiting to be contacted already, and those specifi- 
cations on the Tiber life preservers you've got to 
settle this morning. Then I've got about thirty 
letters for you to sign so's we can get them off the 
first thing, and " 

"Fine, fine. Bring 'em on. Contacting! I love 
it. You better start to route those critters in the 

187 



waiting room right through. Any of 'em amount 
to anything?" 

"Well, there's Mr. Ver Planck of the Ver 
Planck Nut and Bolt." 

''Ver Planck, hey? Well, let's contact him 
first, let's contact Mr. Ver Planck right off. We'll 
make him walk Ver Planck. Ha, ha, ha. Hey, 
Miss Ripley, we'll make him walk it." 

He poured himself a shot of rye from the tanta- 
lus concealed in the early American sideboard, 
tossed it off and inserted a clove. Then he roared 
into the Deskavox, a microphone disguised as a set 
of "Messages and Papers of the Presidents" that 
could be connected with all parts of the office by 
moving various buttons on its surface. 

"Walk in Mr. Ver Planck." 

By 10:30 Mr. Ver Planck had been shaken 
hands with, assured "Mr. Ver Planck, Ver Planck 
Nuts and Bolts are on everything this grand old 
county's putting up," and bowed out. Again he 
roared into the Deskavox. 

"Who's the next chump?" 

"Mrs. George French Humbleton." 

The George French Humbletons were Society. 
Big place on Shore Drive. 

188 



"Mrs. Humbleton, hey? Well, send her in 
and we'll humble her. Ha, ha, ha." 

Jolly John, indeed, thought Miss Ripley, and 
wondered if a chub would be bestowed. Looking 
at Mrs. Humbleton's kiln-baked cheeks she some- 
how doubted it. 

At 1 1 Mrs. Humbleton left the rosewood re- 
treat telling him she thought he was "fraytfulleh 
nayce," and he was telling her: "Mrs. Humble- 
ton, I'll look after everything in good shape. Just 
you leave it to me and don't give it another 
thought." 

"Send in Mr. RaflSgan." 

Another double shot and two cloves. 

"Ah, Mike. Siddown. Did you see that dame 
that just left here? Well, that was Mrs. George 
French Humbleton. Pheeeeew! Any more like 
that and we'll have to lay in a case of lady fingers. 
You shoulda got a load of her shaking hands. Like 
one of them guinies saluting Mussolini. Well, 
guess what she wants? She wants a braydul 
pawth." 

"A braydul pawth? Never heard of it. What 
the Christ is a braydul pawth?" 

Holtsapple's voice took on the mimping enun- 
ciation he considered typical of Society speech. 

189 



"Eeuh, yays, may hahsben and ay and ouah 
fraynds wandahed if you, Meestah Hultsepple, 
cawn't feex ahs ahp with a braydul pawtK. 
Pheeew! Well, a braydul pawth is Ritz for bridle 
path, you know, horses, and they want it in Drive 
Park. They don't seem to get no action out of the 
Department of Parks. And of course I told her 
sure, nothing easier. So it looks like another job for 
your cinders. Where are they now, by the way?" 

Mike consulted a pocket note book. 

"The cinders. God, them cinders is about wore 
out. It's gettin' on two years they been goin' the 
rounds now. Hmm. Well, let's see now, John. 
Them cinders. Hmm. Well, I guess about now 
they'd be goin' in the Stitchleigh subway n 

"The subway! Why, that can't be right. What 
are they putting 'em in the subway for? ,, 

"For foundations, wasn't it?" 

"Foundations? Why, you can't use cinders 
for no subway foundations. The whole goddam 
thing' 11 cave in and kill everybody. You got to 
have concrete in those foundations, Mike, con- 
crete. Just stop on your way downtown and con- 
tact the Transit Commission and tell 'em I said 
so, will you? Why, those engineers must be 

190 



crazy. Cinders for foundations! Why, some time 
they'll get a big crowd on one of them trains on 
the way to a double-header and the whole thing' 11 
crumple and then where '11 they be? No, Mike, 
you tell 'em at the Transit Commission there must 
be some mistake. Tell 'em to check over them 
specifications and see if it wasn't concrete they 
meant, not cinders." 

''Sure I will, John. Concrete, not cinders, con- 
crete. Sure, concrete." 

"And then slide over to Stitchleigh and contact 
them cinders outa that subway and get 'em started 
up to Drive Park. Dump 'em by the bandstand, 
and when you get that done I'll tell you where we 
want 'em then. We ain't picked out exactly a 
place for this braydul pawth yet. Oh, yes, and you 
better stop in while you're downtown and contact 
the Park Commissioner and tell him the cinders'Il 
be $2.50 a cubic yard and the trucks'll cost him 
sixty-five bucks apiece a day. Tell him that for 
me, will you, Mike? And how about contacting a 
little shot before you go?" 

"Fine, John, I don't mind if I do." 

Two doubles were decanted. 

"Well, to an uncommonleh jolleh braydul 
pawth!" 

191 



Holtsapple waggled his hips in imitation of 
Mrs. Humbleton's walk. 

"The braydul pawth, John, and here's cinders 
in your eye," toasted Mike. 

"And in our pockets, too, hey, Mike? In our 
pockets. Ha, ha, ha. Well, on your way now." 

Mike departed. 

"Who's the next chump?" 

"Mr. Loftus is here." 

"Send him right in." 

Malta's former official Herald and Scroll 
Reader was wearing a Pullman green velour hat 
and a camel's hair polo coat of butter-cake shade. 
A great diamond solitaire flashed as he took the 
Corona Corona from his mouth and saluted 
with it. 

"Morning, boss. Heard my new theme song? 
'Oucher, Oucher, Give Us a Voucher.' 

"Say that's pretty good: 'Oucher, Oucher, 
Give Us a Voucher,' hey? Ha, ha, ha. Could you 
use a shot? Fine, so could I. Speaking of vouchers, 
the city vouchers for October are due today. May- 
be they'll be in this afternoon's mail. Contact 
Charlie this morning?" 

"Just come from there. Well, Oucher, Oucher. 
192 






Charlie wants you to have lunch with him. He's 
contacted somebody about some land the Board 
of Education might be interested in and he wants 
to consult you about it." 

"Why, that's fine. School sites, hey? Hmm, 
school sites." 

"School sites, school sites, dear new golden 
school sites. Baaaaaup! Hear my new gag about 
the Mayor? I tried it on Charlie, but it didn't 
take so good. I'll try it on you. Now you say to 
me: 'Who was that Mayor I seen you with last 
night?' Go on say it, 'Who was that Mayor I 
seen you with last night?' 

"Well, Mr. Bones, who was that Mayor I 
seen you with last night?" 

"That wasn't no Mayor, that was a stallion!" 

"Gawd, you're terrible. Ha, ha, ha. 'That 
wasn't no mayor, that was a stallion.' I guess you 
buy the lunch after that one. 'That was a stal- 
lion.' Gawd, you're terrible." 

He roared into the Deskavox. 

"Ha, ha, ha. Tell all those chumps out there 
I'm out to lunch. Back at 3. Ha, ha, ha. Gawd 
you're terrible." 



93 



33 



PHILLIP DORSEY rocked on the howdah as the 
bus lumbered up hilly Federal Street. On every 
corner the apple sellers, hands in pockets, hugged 
their elbows into their ribs and stamped on the 
pavement up and down before their boxes. Some 
had mufflers. There were very few overcoats 
among them. Two girls, who looked like office 
workers, talked excitedly in the seat in front of 
him. 

"Harrie's goin' to Palm Beach." 

"Go on. How do you know?" 

1 'Cause I know, that's woy. He was goin' to 

come to our club dance on the twenny-secon' and 

yestiday our seckatary, Gladys Emmons, got the 

sweetes' poisonal ledda from him sayin' he was 

194 






ohful sorry but he couldrT come on account he's 
got to go to Palm Beach with his dodda for her 
health. Kin you 'magine a man like that wntin' 
a poisonal ledda, and him so busy an' all? You'd 
think he'd have one of his seckatanes do it, but 
noddadall, there it was: a poisonal ledda with his 
name, Harr.c B. Satchells, signed to it. I think it 
was just the sweetes' thing for him to do a thing 
like that, with him so busy an' all. Anybody else 
would had a seckatary or somebody do it. I think 
it was just the sweetes' thing." 

"Yes, I know, isn' he wunnafil? It's jus' like 
w'en he spoke to our Y.W.H.B.S.A. chapter an' 
our president, Ruthie Tarch, says w'en she intro- 
duced him: 'He's a Republican an' yet he's so 
democratic' You shoulda seen him blush! He 
cer'ainly is democratic, all right. That's cer'ainly 
too bad about Florence. I mean about his dodda. 
Maybe that climate down there'll fix her up. It's 
a shame Harne should have to worry about her 
like that, and him with so much to worry about 
already. It's a shame." 

"Yes, it cer'ainly is a shame . . ." 
Good heavens, Phillip Dorsey thought, what's 
to be done with such people? What is to be done? 

•95 



34 



THE PONY KICKED UP its heels during Holy 
Week. By the time it had lowered them and 
Lent was over, seventy-one public servants were 
stretched out dead. 

Public Welfare Commissioner Reuben A. Gold- 
sord ($15,000) was the first to go. A married 
man and a parent several times several, Commis- 
sioner Goldsord had spent Palm Sunday afternoon 
doing a little private welfare work out of office 
hours with a Miss Wilson, one of his stenogra- 
phers. The locale was the Museum of Fine Arts 
among whose dreary recesses welfare work of all 
kinds had been going on for decades. 

"We was in the big dark room with all the 
mummies," Miss Wilson sobbed to the District 

196 



Attorney, ''and I went to fix my hair. When I 
come back there he was stretched out in a pool 
of blood . . . Did I know he was married? 
Nothing like this ever happen' to me before! " 

President of the Board of Water Supply Jonas 
F. McMurdough ($12,000) was kicked to death 
on Monday night. An old lady who lived in 
apartment 10-F at the Dorking Arms discovered 
the body. The Dorking Arms lacked tone enough 
to have either a doorman or an elevator boy: just 
a colored man (who seemed to be always in the 
basement when the switchboard was buzzing and 
fussing with the switchboard when the heat 
wanted turning on) and one of those drive-it- 
yourself elevators. Some time between 9:30 and 
9:45 the old lady pushed the button to bring the 
elevator to the ground floor. She heard it hum- 
ming down quietly, she told the police. When the 
door rolled back by itself and the copper-plated 
safety-grill jumped aside, out fell the President of 
the Board of Water Supply. It gave her quite a 
nasty jar. 

As the 5:17 ferry to Stitchleigh reached its des- 
tination on Tuesday night, there was a spinning 
of chain, up slid the gates, and two coupes and a 

197 



truck shot from the vehicle tunnel in the craft's 
starboard side on to the pier. Perhaps a full min- 
ute elapsed, and then the enraged squawking of 
horns began. A deckhand went back to the Buick 
that was holding up the line. Its storm curtains 
were on. "C'mon, chief, step on it, willya?" 
He opened the door. Across the front seat was 
sprawled what later proved to be City Chamber- 
lain Claude V. Kedzie ($15,000). 

The pony took Wednesday off, but made up 
for lost time on the night of Maundy Thursday 
by disposing of Budget Director F. X. Hallihay 
($17,500) and Commissioner of Plant and Struc- 
tures Otis F. Dunkel ($15,000), both high- 
priced men. Their bodies were found in adjoining 
telephone booths situated in the basement of the 
Magnusson Bowling and Billiard Academy. The 
two were passionate bowlers and always preferred 
to play as a pair. There were only a few hangers- 
on at the academy Maundy Thursday night, and 
the pair were unable to find another pair willing to 
play against them for a side-bet of $10 or even $5. 
They bowled a few frames against each other in 
sulky fashion, and then the Director of the 
Budget was heard to suggest that some girls be 

198 



called up. The Commissioner of Plant and Struc- 
tures made a joke having to do with Lent, and 
then went to the basement to telephone. Budget 
Director Hallihay practiced a few trick shots. 

"What's keeping that mug?" the loungers 
distinctly heard him say after he had failed thrice 
running to take two lone end pins with one ball. 
"Don't he know any girls?" 

He went downstairs, presumably to assist his 
colleague. 

Each man was standing upright in his booth 
facing the instrument. Neither receiver was off its 
hook. 

The pony rested up over Good Friday. 

At 3: 1 1 on Easter Sunday morning the sleepy 
headwaiter at Watzel's Roadhouse on Ocean Road, 
fifteen miles north of Stitchleigh, entered the ban- 
quet hall at the rear of the ground floor of the 
building with the addition. The banquet hall was 
shut off by huge folding doors. The addition 
totalled $764, and all but $132 of this sum was 
for beer. The occasion was the Regular Quarterly 
Beefsteak of the Board of Aldermen of the Greater 
City of Malta. Aldermanic President John T. 
Porello had been unable to attend, owing to a 

199 



severe attack of la grippe, so 'Postle Godly had 
been invited in his place. 

"He can open the meeting with prayer," sport- 
loving Alderman Sylvester N. Rebhuhn had face- 
tiously suggested. 

The banquet hall looked as though it had just 
been passed through by Visigoths, with the Visi- 
goths all feeling great. 

But where was everybody? 

The headwaiter became a good deal less sleepy, 
very wide awake, in fact. He searched behind the 
potted palms. He searched everywhere under the 
long T-shaped table. Not an alderman. Not a 
single alderman. Traces of them, yes, and in pro- 
fusion. Even that nigger priest's rubber hat. 

Then he saw that the big French windows 
giving on to the rear of the grounds were all open. 
Naturlich! Guests often just stepped outside when 
the beer began working on them. Funny, though, 
that the entire sixty-six should be outside at once. 
Must be watching something. Watching some- 
thing! The headwaiter lost his temper. Watching 
something! 

Himmelherrgottsacramentnochamol! Here it 
was after 3 o'clock Sunday morning, time decent 

200 



people were in bed and they were out there watch- 
ing things. And that nigger priest with his rub- 
ber hat. Schandhaft! 

He stepped out into the moonlight. 

They were all lying there among the bushes, 
all sixty-six including the 'Postle with a broken 
piece of his tall glass crozier clutched in his right 
hand. Most of them still had on the bibs men 
wear at beefsteak dinners, and some of them were 
wearing paper hats. 

At first he thought they were drunk, but then 
he saw the blood. 



201 



35 



A GRAND FUNERAL it was too, taking three 
hours and eighteen minutes to pass a given point, 
and crowds lined the whole way to Greenlawn. 
Each of the seventy-one hearses was preceded by 
a band, drums all draped in black, playing Bee- 
thoven, Chopin, the Dead March from "Saul. ,, 
The weeded women rode in city cars, and most 
of the civil list walked behind with that tick-tock 
step men have in funeral processions. (Under each 
silk hat was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 
look.) So lavish were the gates ajar, the broken 
columns, the vacant chairs, the sweet pea doves, 
the other floral tributes that they were hauled in 
eighteen (D.S.C.) trucks festooned with crepe. 
Represented among the mourners were all the 

202 



political, fraternal, religious and patriotic organiza- 
tions in the city as well as the consulates of foreign 
powers. 

DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO URBE 
SUA MORI 

was the inscription on the face of the huge but 
simple granite shaft at the cemetery, and under- 
neath were the names of the martyrs including 
those of Deputy Commissioner Bnx and Commit- 
teeman Gozo. 

'Dulce et decorum est pro urbe sua mori,' 
the Mayor began. "It is sweet and glorious to die 
for one's Greater City. Oh, my friends, we are 
here today — " 

It was the most eloquent oration he ever de- 
livered. 

Charlie McQuilty rode back to town with him 
in the Rolls-Royce. 

"Geez, Charlie, we've got to do something 
and do it quick." 

Wearily McQuilty slid a black-gloved hand 
into the inside pocket of his morning coat and 
brought out a sheaf of the ruled cards. He spread 

203 



them out fanwise and blinked at them with his 
white lashes. 

"Don't worry. There's always plenty more 
cards than jobs. We'll run off a special election for 
the aldermen. Aldermen won't give us no trouble. 
Aldermen are six for a nickel. But about them 
commissioners. I got a fine man in mind for 
Chamberlain. Eddie Hanratty. He's a brother-in- 
law 

"Listen, Charlie, I'm serious. To hell with you 
and your goddam mangy brother-in-law. We're 
in a jam here with this pony thing, unless the 
cops can break the case for us, we're in a jam. 
We're out on a limb. The papers are raising hell." 

"Aw, the papers. Who cares about the papers? 
It's time they was givin' us a little attention/ ' 

"The cops can't catch a dead rat in a cup of 
coffee, anyway, much less a pony that gets in 
elevators and phone booths and roadhouses with- 
out being seen. I talked to Hobelman this morn- 
ing and he conned me about 'developments.' De- 
velopments! And now I suppose we won't dare to 
let the circus come here with all those ponies they 
have. Maybe they could put the ponies in cages 
instead of lions. No, but seriously, Charlie, we've 

204 



got to look around for the makings of a Big Splash 
and if we find it, for God's sake, let's throw it 
right away." 

"Aw, fergit about it. Say, that was a grand 
speech you made at the graves there this morn- 
ing." 

"Oh, do you really think so? How'd it go 
overr 

"Something wonderful. Even the taxi drivers 
was cryin'." 

"Go on. The hell you say. Taxi drivers?" 
"Sure. I counted six with me own eyes." 
"Well, I'm damned. Taxi drivers. And I 
thought I was slipping. And six of 'em! Ah-ha- 
ha-ha. That must be some kind of a world's 
record, six." 

"Oh, sure. It was a wonderful speech." 
"Listen, Charlie, how'd that column get up 
there so fast? Those poor aldermen are still warm. 
And the poor 'Postle! What did they want to 
take him out on that party for, anyway, the poor 
old guy? That was kind of a lousy trick. I wish 
I'd known they were going to invite him. I'd 
have soon stopped that. But where'd we get that 
column?" 

205 



"Oh, I got It." 

"Yes, I know, but where'd it come from? And 
how'd you get it up so fast?" 

"Oh, I got it through a little concern I own 
some stock in. We had to take and work some- 
thing terrible to get it up in time." 

"How much did it cost? That's a very siz- 
able hunk of rock, that column." 

"Oh, I dunno. Couple of hundred thousand, I 
guess, with all that writin' in Eyetalian and them 
names and all." 

"Couple of hundred thousand!" 

The Mayor whistled through his teeth. 

"Gosh! But, listen, Charlie, let's get working 
on this Big Splash right away." 

"Aw, fergit about it. Lemme tell you about 
this Eddie Hanratty I got for you for Chamber- 
lain." 

"Listen, how's this for a splash? Let's run 
Larry Lowells out of town and bust up his mob. 
He's getting out of hand, it seems to me. Pretty 
soon things will be as bad here as Chicago under 
Capone." 

"Larry Lowells?" 

"Sure, why not? I'll just tell Hobelman to 
206 



bear down on him and we'll get a wonderful play 
in the papers not only here but all over the coun- 
try. How about that for our splash ?" 

"Larry Lowells? You got that added up wrong 
some way, ain't you? Why, you can't do noth- 
ing to Larry Lowells. He's one of the best friends 
you got. He's already sewed up eight Republican 
wards and nine Democratic and he's sewin' on 
more. Why, Larry Lowells just about elected you 
Mayor of this city." 

"Larry Lowells! Why I thought the 'Postle 
and I swung it. What the hell did Larry Lowells 
do?" 

"Just about elected you, that's all. Sure, you 
and the 'Postle helped, but without Larry Lowells 
throwin' us them Democratic wards we couldn't 
got nowheres, niggers or no niggers. We made a 
little deal about them Democratic wards, me and 
him." 

"Larry Lowells! Why, that's terrible. Why 
didn't I know? Why, that's awful." 

"Aw, fergit about it. You been in this busi- 
ness long enough to know that what you don't 
know ain't gonna hurt you none. Sorry I told you. 
Fergit about it and leave Larry Lowells to me. 

207 



Lemme tell you about this Eddie Hanratty I got 

for you now M 

''Larry Lowells. . . . Prrrrrooo!" 



208 



36 



THE BIG SPLASH of 1932 was Miss Malta. 

Thought up by the executives of the Contracts 
Contacts Corporation and worked out in detail by 
the Board of Education, the Evening Moon and 
the Sylvester Dobby Tours, Inc., the idea was so 
gorgeously simple its creators wondered that it had 
never occurred to them before. 

"Why, it's just the old bathing beauty gag 
with clothes on!" said Loftus. 

"But hitched up to the tried and true principles 
of education and popular government," Holtsap- 
ple pointed out. "That's where the vision ties in. 
How about it, Charlie, my boy?" 

"Well, John, it sounds like quite a thing if it 
works out. I hope to God it does. You know they 

209 



lynched another pony up in Sicily this morning. 
I hope this here Miss Malta business is goin' to 
take the people's mind off the circus not bein' al- 
lowed to come here." 

"Sure it will, Charlie, my boy; this Miss Malta 
proposition will beat any circus ever heard of. 
Think of it: a trip to all the greater cities of Eu- 
rope for three months, absolutely free of charge. 
And with Mayor Harrie B. Satchells, Malta's 
Boy Friend. Why, the people will be crazy for 
it. They'll forget they ever heard of a pony." 

And they did. The Evening Moon, a tabloid 
of nearly 2,000,000 daily circulation and of more 
than 3,000,000 on Sundays, set all its pulmotors 
to working. Dr. Chester Tingley (Superintend- 
ent of Schools, $20,000), endorsed the idea pub- 
licly as "a wonderful aid to scholarship" and or- 
dered all his principals to order their teachers to 
co-operate to ability's fullest extent. And Mr. 
Sylvester Dobby's travel agency was tireless in its 
efforts, simply tireless. Ponies disappeared from 
public consciousness in no time. 

It was decided to call it not a Contest but an 
Award, the Miss Malta Official Award. The en- 
trance requirements were not severe: any female 

210 



resident of the Greater City who had passed the 
eighth grade and possessed a picture of herself 
could compete, irrespective of color, shape or na- 
tionality. Not only beauty counted, but votes. 
Every day a vote coupon appeared in the Evening 
Moon, and on Sundays the coupons were good 
for five votes. Every day there was a double truck 
picture spread of aspirants and on Sundays there 
were six pages. With feature stories and itineraries 
of just where the Lucky Girl would go with Our 
Harrie. 

The Greater City took the Miss Malta Official 
Award to its bosom as one of the few diversions 
left that everybody could afford. Through the 
spring and into the summer they voted, voted, 
voted. The Evening Moons daily circulation 
passed 2,500,000, its Sunday 4,000,000. So 
strongly did the Award appeal to the public fancy 
that it was decided to enlarge its scope and include 
European trips for Miss North Side, Miss South 
Side, Miss East Side, Miss West Side, Miss 
Stitchleigh, Miss Magnusson, Miss Dorking. 

"I'll admit I never thought it would ketch 
ahold like this," Holtsapple told the executives 
of the Contracts Contacts Corporation one night 

2 1 1 



in June. "I knew it would go big all right, but I 
never thought it would ketch ahold like this. 
Look at the Moons circulation figures — 2,750,- 
000 last week. That was a good idea bringing in 
all them gals from the districts, Miss North Side, 
Miss Dorking and so on. Maybe we could make 
it even bigger. How about picking a Miss Malta 
Parochial School Girl?" 

"Say, that's a great idea, John," said Mike 
Raffigan, "Miss Malta Parochial School Girl. 
Hm. Oh, fine, John, fine. Miss Malta Parochial 
School Girl. Say, I got a couple nieces '11 eat 
that up." 

"Boss," said Loftus, "you know I think you 
ought to throw this thing open more to the older 
dames. If you look close at the pictures in the 
Moon you'll see most of these entries just left off 
hair ribbons. Whyn't you give the married women 
a break? How about a Mrs. Young Malta Ma- 
tron: 

"Orv, you said something there. That's a 
natural. Mrs. Young Malta Matron. Great. And 
while we're at it let's run in the older married 
women, too. How about a Mrs. Malta House- 
wife?" 

212 



"Oh, fine, John, fine. Mrs. Malta Housewife. 
That's fine. I'll enter the missus and maybe we 
can all stuff ballots for her. Mrs. Malta House- 
wife. A great thing for the whole family. Say, 
how about the old women. How about a Mrs. 
Malta Grandma?" 

"Mrs. Malta Grandma? Mike, you pulled 
something smart for once. Yes, sir, we'll just use 
that. I'll tell the Aloon people about it tomorrow 
first thing. Charlie, you fix it up with Tingley. 
And now we got all these Mrs. Maltas outa the 
way, how about a Mr. Shot all around? Right! 
And Charlie, my boy, takes water in his, the god- 
dam thimblebelly. 

"Say, Charlie, my boy, how's Harrie enjoying 
all this? This is gonna make quite a trip for him 
with all these new entries. Let's see. Miss Greater 
City and the seven district misses is eight, Mrs. 
Young Malta Matron's nine, Mrs. Malta House- 
wife's ten, Mrs. Malta Grandma's eleven. Lucky 
eleven. Lucky Harrie. What a break he ain't got 
a wife! How's he taking it?" 

"All right, I guess. Harrie's plenty game." 

"Game," said Loftus. "I'll say he's game. The 
games t guy in town. Gentlemen, I give you the 

213 



Honable Harne B. Satchells, the only Republi- 
can in the whole U.S.A. who'll carry out his 
party's 1928 campaign promises." 

"Campaign promises? What campaign prom- 
lsesr 

"A chicken in every port. Baaaaaup!" 



M 



37 



"Gee, We Think That You Are Simply Swell, 
Harrie," the massed bands of the Police, Fire and 
Street Cleaning Departments thumped out from 
the pier end. The people waved flags and hand- 
kerchiefs and cheered at the Hindenburg as she 
shoved off. Surrounded by the Lucky Eleven and 
with Miss Greater City {nee Frieda Kissmiller, 
1 76 1 Iuka Avenue) on his arm, the Mayor waved 
back from the rail of the promenade deck. "Gee, 
We Think That You Are Simply Swell, Harrie!' 
The old line never failed to bring tears to his 
eyes. What a lovely thing it was! They really 
did. They still really thought he was swell. All 
those thousands and thousands of people there on 
the pier, and the millions and millions behind 

215 



them clear to the county line. In spite of the de- 
pression, in spite of unemployment, in spite of 
bank failures, in spite of the market, in spite of 
McQuilty, in spite of everything. They loved 
him, and by God, he loved them. "You Are 
Simply Swell, Harrie." There'd be a break soon, 
there'd have to be. Things couldn't get any worse, 
so they'd just have to get better. Law of averages. 
Couldn't help it. And then everybody'd be happy 
again and think he was sweller than ever. He'd 
give 'em reason to think so, too, by God. "Gee, 
We Think That You Are Simply Swell, Harrie." 
Dear old Rose. Poor old Rose. That goddam pony. 

Once again the massed bands repeated the re- 
frain. 

"John Holtsapple Will Not Get a Smell." 
Well, there was one part that wasn't true, any- 
way. John was certainly getting his smell all 
right, more than a smell. His snout was in, his 
whole head was in up to the ears, the big sow. 
Contracts Contacts Corporation. By God, there'd 
have to be a showdown when he got back. There'd 
have to be. Look what was happening to Jimmy 
Walker up in New York. Things like that just 
couldn't go on. 

216 



Miss Greater City pressed his arm. 

"Oh, look, there's poppa. Yoohoo, poppa. 
Good-bye, poppa!" 

Nice kid. Pretty kid. They were all nice kids 
and surprisingly pretty, too, for a thing like this. 
Except that goddam Housewife and that goddam 
Grandma. Trust Charlie to squeeze in a couple of 
his relations somewhere. Nepotism. Did Charlie 
know what nepotism meant? Haw! All that old 
harp knew was how to smell a dollar and grab it. 
You had to hand it to him at that, he certainly 
could smell them out in funny places. Well, thank 
God, none of these girls had those horrible cast- 
iron, Mary Pickford curls. Brown, they always 
were, horrible, dead, pig-iron brown. 

That Younger Mrs. Matron, Mrs. Sickels 
there, wasn't so bad. Nice little shape and a gay, 
wet eye. To hell with that stuff. Rest. Sleep. 
Relax. Give these kids a good time. Show 'em 
the beauties of the Old World. Get away from 
the chiselers. God, every time you looked around 
there was always a knot of chiselers standing 
there. And always the little fellow in a belted 
overcoat, with both hands stuck in his hip pockets, 
twirling on his heel in the midst of a laugh. No 

217 



more of him, no more of any chiselers for three 
long, glorious months. Ninety-two whole beauti- 
ful days of no chiselers. Prrrrrooo! 

The Hindenburg had reached Yowell's Light. 

"Ladies," he said, "if you'll excuse me, I've 
got to go below and dictate some letters and 
cables. I'll see you at dinner. We're at the Cap- 
tain's table." 

In his cabin he undressed and put on his pa- 
jamas. He looked in the bathroom mirror at the 
little squint wrinkles of care beside his eyes. Sleep 
would fix that, sleep. 

Again he had the Turksib dream. In the Rus- 
sian film "Turksib" time after time a closeup of 
a locomotive piston and the whirling wheels be- 
hind had been thrown on the screen. It motivated 
the picture. More and more, of late, this closeup 
had come to the Mayor in his dreams. There was 
this enormous piston going faster and faster and 
faster and there he was astride it, a tiny man, 
holding on to the piston's joint, the wrist-pin, 
with his hands while the frantic rod bucked him 
and bucked him and bucked him. Little by little 
by little he slipped off until at last he was pitched 
into infinity. Then, still a tiny man, he was 

218 



standing on the floor of the locomotive cab. 
Charlie McQuilty was sitting there with his hand 
on the throttle, blinking out of the window 
through his white eyelashes, saying nothing. 
Holtsapple with grease on his face was the fire- 
man. Every few minutes he would look at the 
gauge which was rising and rising and yell: "I 
think she'll take some more, Charlie; I think she'll 
take some more all right," and Charlie would 
blink and nod. Then Holtsapple would throw 
open the door of the boiler furnace and flames 
would shoot out and you could see his fat-flaps 
and his ogre jowls. Laughing all over he would 
snatch up his shovel and plunge it into the enor- 
mous pile of greenbacks that filled the tender and 
heave them into the furnace. Shovelful after 
shovelful he would heave, laughing all the time. 

The Mayor would stretch up his arms and try 
to shout a warning at them. 

"Wait," he would scream, "wait a minute. 
She's too full already. She'll bust if you don't 
watch out." 

But they couldn't hear him, couldn't see him. 
He was too tiny. 

The dream always switched in the same way. 
219 



"Pheeeeew!" Holtsapple would say, slamming 
the door to with his shovel and wiping his brow 
with the back of his hand. "That soft stuff is 
certainly hard to handle." 

Then the Mayor was back on the piston again 
until he was bucked off into infinity. Then back 
in the cab. 

He awoke trembling, exhausted. Well, nothing 
else for it. He rang for the steward, and when 
the steward came he slipped a $10 bill into his 
palm. 

"Steward, I want you to go up to the bar and 
have 'em shake me up the biggest shaker they've 
got full of Martinis. And tell 'em not to be 
stingy with the gin, do you understand, plenty 

gin. 

"Yessor, blenty of chin." 

"And then when you've done that I want you 
to find a Mrs. Sickels, S-i-c-k-e-1-s, do you under- 
stand?" 

"Yessor, Mizzus Ziggles." 

"Right. You'll probably find her on B deck. 
Now, when you find her, if she's with any other 
ladies, I want you to tell her the purser has a cable 
for her. And when you get her away from the 

220 



other ladies, I want you to present her with my 
compliments and ask her if she'd care to have a 
cocktail with me here in . . . exactly fifteen min- 
utes. Have you got that straight now?" 

"Yessor." 

"And steward." 

"Yessor?" 

"Get the cocktails here in ten minutes." 

"Yessor!" 



221 



38 



ONE NIGHT IN PARIS the Mayor sneaked 
off to the Caveau Tsoin Tsoin, an old Mont- 
martre hot spot under new management, with 
Miss North Side {nee Doris Schultheiss, 2 13 l /z 
North High Street). To a sticky tango, "La 
Beguine de Mon Beguin Est Ma Beguine" 
played by the Central American orchestra with 
many a florid cadenza from the piano accordion, 
they danced. Miss North Side tucked her little 
blonde head in the notch of his neck and shoulder 
and followed him through the tango mazes. The 
Mayor could feel the electricity going down his 
left arm and through his hand into her hand and 
up her right arm. 

Dancing and dancing and dancing. Dancing 
222 



in the dark. It was dark here and good. Good to 
be dancing with Miss North Side of the Greater 
City of Malta, Miss Doris Schultheiss of 213 J/2 
North High Street, Miss Schoris Dhultheiss of 
Strew Dirt Theen and a Staff Horth Nigh Creek 
of the Mater Gritty of Salta. With Schiss Morris 
Hultdeiss — God! 

"This is a swell number they're playing, don't 
you think?" the Mayor said aloud. 

"Mmm. Cute piece," Miss North Side purred. 
He could feel her breath on his ear. 

Cute piece, Et tu, Brute. Et tu, Dore. Paris. 
Dancing in the dark in Paris with Miss North 
Side of the Greater City of Malta. In Pans of all 
places. What was the old gag about taking a 
sandwich to a banquet? Taking your wife to Paris 
is like taking a sandwich to a banquet. Wife. He 
didn't have any wife. Just a wifeless waif from 
Wooftown. Wife, waif, wiff, wofe, or werf, as 
they said in Brooklyn. Who was that werf I seen 
you with at the Tsoin Tsoin last night. That 
wasn't no werf, that was a sandwich. 

"You know, you mustn't tell anybody, but 
personally I think you should have been picked 
Miss Greater City." 

223 



Miss North Side raised her head, drew back 
at arm's length and looked at him. 

"Oh, Mis-terMay-ur!" 

"Really I do. I voted for you myself. And 
don't call me Mister Mayor. Call me Harrie." 

Miss North Side went back into her snuggle. 

"Har-rie," she purred. 

"What do they call you back home?" 

"Doris." 

"I know. But you must have some pet name. 
What do your boy friends on the North Side 
call you?" 
1 oo sie. 

Snuggle, snuggle. 

"What?" 
1 oo sie. 

"Tootsie?" 

"Mmm. Too'sie." 

"Too 'sie . . . Too'sie. A pretty name." 

With a final: "et la beguine de mon beguin 
est ma beguine, bump-bump!" the tango ended. 

"Let's have some champagne, Too'sie." 

"Mmm!" 

Jim Niebuhr, his Executive Secretary, rose 
from their table against the wall. Niebuhr's dead 

224 



pan and rabbity upper lip always reminded the 
Mayor of Charles Butterworth. 

"Sorry to bother you," said Niebuhr in his 
chalky voice, "but this just come and I thought 
it might be important." 

He passed the Mayor an opened cablegram. 

GREATER CITY OF MALTA WENT 
BROKE TODAY STOP FAILURE OF DE- 
LINQUENTS IN LAST TWO YEARS TO 
PAY $576,000,000 TAXES OWING CITY 
THE REASON STOP HAVE YOU ANY 
SUGGESTIONS STOP SUGGEST YOU 
URGE IMMEDIATE ECONOMY PRO- 
GRAM AND SET EXAMPLE BY COMING 
HOME AND LOOKING AFTER EVER IN- 
CREASING NEEDS OF PEOPLE STOP 
WIRE ME AT MY NEW OFFICE MALTA 
TRUST BUILDING STOP 

CHARLIE 

The Mayor looked at Niebuhr' s dead, dead 
pan. 

"So you thought this might be important, 
Jim?" 

225 



"Yes," croaked Niebuhr, "that's how come I 
hunted all over until I found you." 

Broke! The Greater City of Malta was broke 
for five hundred seventy-six millions of dollars 
and here he was at the Caveau Tsoin Tsoin with 
Too'sie Schultheiss, Schussie Tultheiss, Heissie 
Schlusstuss. And could he make a suggestion? 
God! 

"Let me take your pencil, Jim. Here, I can 
write it on the back of this menu. Garcon, encore 
deux bootay champan. Too'sie, you and I are 
going to have us a time. Slide over and ask the 
orchestra leader if he can't play: "I Can't Give 
You Anything But Love," that's a good girl. 
Jim, I want you to get this on the wires right 
away. I'll have it ready in two minutes. Have 
I got any suggestions ..." 



226 



39 



THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS of the Con- 
tracts Contacts Corporation was in extraordinary 
session. 

"Look at that old crook there," said Holtsapple 
at the head of the table, shaking his finger at 
McQuilty. "Just get a load of that sneaky smirk 
on his puss, Orv, and you, Mike. Ain't he a 
picture? Ain't he the fine-looking upstanding 
man of affairs, though? Ain't he an inspiring 
sight? Ain't he? The Greater City of Malta's 
broke, five hundred and seventy-six million dol- 
lars in the red. And who broke it? Who broke 
it? That skinny, stingy old thimblebelly of a 
crook over there's who broke it. Couldn't take 
enough to satisfy any other mortal. Couldn't 

227 



leave enough to meet the payrolls and keep the 
city employes satisfied. Couldn't spare enough for 
a back log to keep the reformers from poking 
around. Not him. Oh, no, not him. He wasn't 
satisfied putting all his seventy-nine relatives in 
all the good jobs there was. He wasn't satisfied 
with no fair return. No, sir. He had to grab it 
ALL. Where's the Sinking Fund? When we went 
out less'n three years ago there was plenty in it, 
enough for an emergency like this and some be- 
sides. And where is it now? Sunk in that old 
crook's pocket over there and his seventy-nine 
relatives' pockets, that's where it is. They used to 
say Charlie McQuilty'd steal the beads out'n a 
rosary while a priest was blessing him. Beads! 
Why that old crook 'd take the priest's PANTS. 
He'd steal his DRORES." 

1 'Listen, John Holtsapple, don't you be yellin' 
at me. I can hear you. Don't be yellin' at me." 

"I WILL TOO BE YELLIN' AT YOU, 
YOU GODDAM OLD DOUBLECROSSING 
RAT THIEF. I'LL YELL AS LONG AS I LIKE 
AND AS LOUD AS I LIKE, WHATAYA 
THINKA THAT?" 

228 



"Now, John, take it easy, now, cool off, now. 
Don't take and get yourself all worked up over 
no thin' and bring on your nervous indergestion." 

"Nothing! You call $576,000,000 nothing? 
Why, that old crook's a disgrace to this city." 

"Ssh! Look, here's Miss Ripley now with a 
telegram. Must be from the Mayor." 

"For you, Mr. McQuilty." 

"Here, gimme that." 

Holtsapple snatched it and tore it open. His 
lips moved as he read it to himself. 

"Read it aloud, Orv," he said and handed it 
to Loftus. "Haw! The old rat's own guy, even, 
is showing him up for what he is." 

Loftus read the cable aloud: 

TAKING YOUR LAST SENTENCE 
FIRST WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY YOUR 
NEW OFFICES I AM NOT SO DUMB AS 
SOME PEOPLE THINK YOU MEAN 
YOUR OLD OFFICES AT THE CONTACTS 
CORPORATION DONT YOU IN WHAT 
RESPECT ARE THEY NEW DID YOU 
LOOSEN UP AND BUY YOURSELF A 

229 



DESK AFTER THREE YEARS AS TO SUG- 
GESTIONS THE BEST I CAN THINK OF 
IS ONE YOU YOURSELF MADE FIVE 
TIMES IN YOUR CABLE NAMELY STOP 
STOP STOP STOP STOP FAILING THAT 
LET ME RECALL TO YOU THAT IN AN- 
CIENT ROME THE TAX COLLECTING 
PRIVILEGES WERE LEASED OUT TO 
PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS JUST AS YOU 
LEASE OUT THE SHOE-SHINING PRIV- 
ILEGES ON THE MUNICIPAL FERRY 
FLEET WHY NOT DO AS THE ROMANS 
I AM GREATLY ENJOYING THE SAND- 
WICHES OF PARIS AT PRESENT AND 
REFUSE TO EMULATE MAYOR MC- 
SWINEY OF CORK AS TO COMING 
HOME MISS GREATER CITY AND HER 
COLLEAGUES NOT TO MENTION MRS. 
GRANDMA MALTA WERE PROMISED 
WHAT THAT CORNHUSKER YOU IN- 
SISTED ON MY MAKING SUPERIN- 
TENDENT OF SCHOOLS CALLED A 

230 



WONDERFUL AID TO SCHOLARSHIP I 
AM HERE TO SEE THAT THEY GET IT 
OUR SCHOLARSHIP IS STILL TO BE 
AIDED IN BERLIN MUNICH VIENNA 
VENICE AND ROME SO MEET US AT 
QUARANTINE ON LABOR DAY AS AD- 
VERTISED REGARDS TO COLLEAGUES 
HOLTSAPPLE LOFTUS AND RAFFIGAN 
AND A KISS FOR YOU SANTA CLAUS. 

HARRIE 



"Say, ain't that a pip about the old goniff here 
buyin' a desk? Ha, ha, ha. That's wonderful. 
Ha, ha, ha. Did he loosen up and buy a desk? 
I didn't know Harne had it in him. 'And a kiss 
for you, Santa Claus.' Ha, ha, ha. Say, I'll have 
to have a talk with Harrie when he gets back, 
at that. I feel better already. How about a little 
shot?" 

"Great idea. Say boss, what the hell does he 
mean by 'sandwiches.' I don't get that, and that 
hunger strike stuff." 

"And, John, what about that part about them 
231 



Romans? There might be somethin' in that. 
Couldn't you farm tax collectin' out to somebody 
like mebbe say the District Leaders? Sell 'em the 
tax bills in their district for so and so much and 
then let 'em collect whatever they can on 'em?" 

Holtsapple put down his glass. 

"Saaaay, that ain't such a lousy goddam idear 
at that. Not such a lousy idear at all. But it 
wouldn't do for the District Leaders to go after 
them taxes. They put their own private shake on 
everybody in their district already. Somebody 
else'd have to do it, somebody outside the district. 
But you got something there, Mike, you got 
something." 

McQuilty had been squirming in his chair. 

"Why not Larry Lowells?" he said in his flat 
voice. 

"Charlie, my boyeee!" 



232 



4o 



MILLIONS OF MALTA HOUSEWIVES 
glanced at the headlines in their papers the next 
afternoon and said to their husbands at dinner: 

"I see the city's broke." 

"Yeah? Who ain't?" millions of husbands 
answered. 



2 33 



41 



YOSKE, THE WOP, who to settle a bet had 
once put out a perfect stranger's right eye with 
a lighted cigar butt, entered the office of Sig- 
mund Fein, Buttons, Badges, Banners. One of 
the fairly prominent Lowells, Yoske, the Wop, 
was feeling exuberant this morning. His squad 
had just reported to him after working lower 
Pine Street, and results had been more than splen- 
did. 

"I wanna see Mr. Fein," he told Miss Schelm- 
fusz, the switchboard girl. 

"Mr. Fein is very busy right now." 

'Til wait." 

"I think he's tied up for the day." 

"Oh, no, he ain't. Tell him he ain't tied up for 
234 



the day if he don't want to be tied up the rest 
of his life. Tell him that, girlie, just tell him that 
for me." 

"Yes, sir. Who shall I say it is?" 

"Mr. J. P. Robinson of the Department of 
Taxes and Assessments." 

"Mr. Fein, a Mr. Robi'son of the Taxes De- 
pottment's here. Says it's very impotint . . . 
What? ... all righty, Mr. Fein. He says he can't 
see you today, Mr. Robi'son. He wants to 
see you, but he can't see you today. He says if 
you'll " 

Yoske, the Wop, rose, walked straight to the 
door marked PRIVATE, shoved it open, passed 
through, and slammed it. 

"Mister Fein, you own this building, dont- 
cha?" Miss Schelmfusz heard him roar. She could 
hear Mr. Fein start to wail, but what he was 
wailing she couldn't catch. Then there was a crash 
and glass smashing and she could hear Mr. Fein 
wailing some more. Removing her earphones and 
chest transmitter, she tiptoed over and put her 
eye to the keyhole. Mr. Fein's desk was lying 
on its side and she guessed that crash must have 
been the inkwells. She could not see Mr. Fein or 

2 35 



the other gentleman but she could hear them. 

"You got a wife and children, ain't you?" the 
other gentleman was saying. "You wouldn't like 
nothing to happen to them, would you? You own 
some more property, don't you? How about them 
flats in Halsey Street? You wouldn't wanta make 
'em over into no pineapple warehouses, would 
you? Maybe you un'erstan' Chinese? You likee 
tlakee lidee in nicee automobilee? Maybe you 
un'erstan' 'at, hey?" 

Just then the switchboard buzzed and Miss 
Schelmfusz tiptoed back and quickly adjusted her 
harness. 

"Sigmund Fein, Buttons, Badges, Banners," 
she said cheerily. 

The gentleman came out of Mr. Fein's door. 
He was smiling and folding a piece of paper. He 
didn't seem like a nice gentleman for somebody 
in the Gov' men t. Harne, now 

"Miss Schelmfusz!" Mr. Fein bleated. 



,36 



42 



THE TELEPHONE RANG and interrupted 
the hearts game. Raffigan answered. 

"Yeah, Carl, yeah. I'll see if he's still here, 
jussa minute." 

He covered the transmitter with his hand. 

"John, it's Carl Lindau of the Mail. He wants 
a statement about some charges is bein' filed with 
the Governor." 

"O.K. Hold this a minute, boys, I'll be right 
back and smoke out Thimblebelly's queen. Yeah, 
oh, hello Carl, how's business? I was just going 
out the door. What's on your mind?" 

"Who's filing 'em, who? Oh, Phillip Dorsey, 
hey? Is that Dorsey the mug that wants to man- 
age the city? . . .Is, hey? Anybody else? . . . 

237 



Civic Association and who? Committee of Ten 
Thousand? Never heard of 'em . . . Going up 
to the capital tonight, are they? . . . They've 
gone? . . . Yeah, Carl just go ahead and read 
me the whole thing, will you, and read it slow so 
I can get the picture. Just a minute now till I get 
settled. Just hold on, Carl." 

He whirled around and snapped his fingers. 

"Pencil and paper, quick!" 

He laid the sheets out carefully, licked the 
pencil's point and picked up the receiver again. 

"O.K., Carl, shoot. But read it good and slow 
now, so's I can get the picture for the statement. 
Go ahead now ..." 

The three men laid their cards face down and 
for twenty minutes watched Holtsapple's back 
bent over the side table that held the telephone 
and listened to him as he said: "How was that 
again, Carl . . .oh, docks and slips . . .O.K., 
I get it . . .go ahead, Carl . . . yeah, yeah." 
Through it all they could hear his pencil point 
racing over the paper. 

"And that's the whole thing is it?" he said at 
last. "Well, it's quite a little document, ain't it. 
All right, Carl, here's your statement: 

238 



'What has been going on at City Hall for 
the last three years concerns me no more than it 
does any other good, law-abiding, tax paying citi- 
zen of the Greater City of Malta, and I hope I 
can claim to be that,' said former Mayor John N. 
(Jolly John) Holtsapple last night. 'When I re- 
tired on January i, 1930, after thirty years of 
unflagging public service, I left the treasury of 
the Greater City in splendid shape and the Sink- 
ing Fund in an even more magnificent condition. 
What has happened to it since is no affair of mine 
beyond that of any good, law-abiding, tax paying 
citizen. Mayor Harne B. Satchells and his Repub- 
lican associates are the ones to account for what- 
ever may have happened since then. However, 
these look like Democrat times, and a year from 
next November ' 

"Wait a minute, Carl. You better cut out that 
last about next year. We'll wait till next year 
comes for that stuff, hey, Carl? Ha, ha, ha. Read 
me what you got so far, will you, Carl. 

"Right. Now, new paragraph. 
1 'As to the wild statements this self-appointed 
public censor, Mr. Dorsey, makes about me, why, 
they are so absurd as to be too ridiculous to even 

239 



deny. As to the affairs of the Contracts Contacts 
Corporation, it is a simple, legitimate business 
organization, duly incorporated under the laws of 
this great State, and not no different in any way, 
shape nor form to ten thousand others like it all 
over the Greater City. Its books are open to in- 
spection just like every other respectable con- 
cern's by any responsible body at any time but 
not to no bunch of wild-eyed, lollygagging, Bol- 
sheviki bunch of fanatics like Mr. Dorsey and his 
Committee of Ten Thousand.' 

"I guess that'll hold 'em, hey, Carl? Is that 
O.K.? Fine. Just give it to the other boys, too, will 
you, Carl? Fine. Drop in and see me some time, 
why don't you? Not at all, Carl, not at all. 
Thanks for letting me know. Goo'-bye. 

"Pheeeeew! For Gawd's sake, Mike, pour me 
a shot quick. Pheeeeew!" 

The great arms hung limp beside the chair. He 
gulped the double shot, shook his head violently 
from side to side, picked up the papers, wheeled 
around. 

''Well! Here sure is a little pip this mug Dor- 
sey' s tryin' to fix up for us, boys. He's asking 
the Governor to remove the Mayor for misfea- 

240 



sance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, neglect and I 
don't know what all else. He's asking the Gov- 
ernor to ask the Legislature to appoint a committee 
to investigate the municipal government of the 
Greater City of Malta. (But that's your head- 
ache, Thimblebelly.) Regular Seabury investiga- 
tion he wants, by Christ. He wants the Legislature 
to look into the way the county's run, too, so he 
does. He don't want much, does he? Ha, ha, ha. 
Gawd, these reformers sure give me a laugh. I 
reckon he didn't figure our good Governor's run- 
ning for re-election this fall, did he? I reckon he 
don't know Harvey Wool can't get to first base 
this November without he carries this Greater 
City and me and Thimblebelly over there'll cut 
his ears off if he tries to pull any funny stuff with 
us, hey, Charlie, my boy? I reckon this here smart 
Mr. Dorsey don't know who runs the Legislature, 
hey, Charlie, my boy? I reckon there's plenty he 
don't know. Plenty. 

"Know what he calls you and me, Thimble- 
belly? We're just two talons of the same vulture, 
Thimblebelly, just two talons of the same vulture, 
but who is the right talon and who is the left 
talon he don't say which. But I sure know which 

241 



part of the vulture this here smart mug, Mr. 
Dorsey is. Just you ask me sometime when there 
ain't no ladies present. City Manager, hey? City 
Mugager, he means. 

"And it seems our City Mugager has been 
poking his little pink nose in plenty places. He 
makes charges. I got five sheets here fulla the 
charges he makes. Carl give 'em to me so fast I 
didn't get the half of 'em down. And he's sending 
Harvey Wool affadavits to back 'em all up. Affa- 
davits, if you please. He says the Police Depart- 
ment's got 760,000 surplus badges. Maybe they 
need 'em to pin up their kid's didies with. Every 
cop's got ten kids for low. Here's one for you, 
Orv: he says 'outrageously exorbitant prices have 
been paid for school sites.' He don't say! He 
says 'Dr. Chester Tingley is grossly unfitted to be 
Superintendent of Schools, having almost no cul- 
tural background himself.' What the hell does he 
expect from a chiropodist? And a guy that used 
to look after Thimblebelly's dogs at that? What 
does he expect, hand-painted china? 

"Here's one for you, Mike: this here City 
Mugager claims the Park Drive braydul pawth 
cost $1,300,000 and the cinders used in building 

242 



it ain't cinders at all, according to the specifica- 
tions, but ashes." 

4 'Why, the goddam liar, them's the best cin- 
ders there is on Muswell's Island." 

''There ain't no cinders on the Island, you 
dope; you get cinders from the power plant." 

"Do you, be God? Well, that's a funny thing, 
Orv, I'd a swore them was cinders." 

"Naw, ashes. Remember next time to cut the 
ashes with a little cinders. Go on, John, go on 
with the charges. I'm strong for this City Mug- 
ager. Hurry up and get to the place where he says 
the Satchells administration ain't nothing but a 
hotbed of beautiful women." 



; 43 



43 



WHEN THE Bismarck reached Quarantine, the 
Mayor and the reporters who had come out on 
the municipal cutter, Fred N. Wrenker, held a 
love feast. 

"Well, if it isn't old Bob Foulkes . . . and 
Mike Clymer . . . and Steve Ross . . . well, 
well, well, why, there's old George . . . hel/o 
Dick . . . geez, this is marvelous . . . come 
right in Red . . . Jimmie!" 

"Hahzit, Harrie?" 
'Say, Harrie, you look great.' ' 

"Hope you had a swell trip." 

"How are those European dames, Harrie? Can 
they do anything our gals can't?" 

"I'd have to answer that off the record, Red, 
244 



because, if you printed it you'd have to get out 
the paper on asbestos, ah-ha-ha-ha." 

"Harne, it's great to hear you laugh again, no 
kiddin'. Nobody's laughed since Hoover said it's 
'just around the corner.' 

"Come on, let's get to it. I got an edition." 
He told them he'd had a lovely vacation but 
was delighted to be home again. He told them 
things didn't look any too good in Europe: the 
depression seemed to be world wide. He told 
them of the Lucky Eleven and he made a joke 
about Mrs. Grandma Malta (off the record) . He 
told them how sorry he was the Greater City was 
broke and that unemployment had increased and 
he promised to do his best to set everything right 
again. He promised the immediate inauguration 
of an Economy Program. He told them that as 
things had got so bad, they surely couldn't get 
any worse and he foresaw an immediate upturn 
after the election. Mr. Hoover would be re-elected, 
he thought, because the country realized the fool- 
hardiness of swapping horses in midstream. Gov- 
ernor Wool, it was his belief, would also be 
returned to office. He told them he thought Pro- 
hibition was done for. All of these and many other 

245 



things he told them, and to all questions begin- 
ning: "Harrie, my office wants to know " 

he replied: "Sorry, old man, I've been away and 
can't answer that till I've looked into it myself." 
Save one: 

"Harrie, how about Phillip Dorsey's asking the 
Governor to remove you?" 

"Dorsey? Good old Dearsie, my old college 
chum." 

"Dearsie?" 

"Sure, didn't you know they called him 'Dear- 
sie' at Princeton? Dearsie Dorsey. Good old 
Dearsie. We were both class of '09. Shows how 
we old Princetonians stick together, eh? Ah-ha- 
ha-ha. Yes, good old Dearsie." 

"Dearsie! That's a new one. John Holtsapple's 
already called him Mr. Mugager in a couple of 
interviews. And now Dearsie." 

"Mr. Mugager, hey? Ah-ha-ha-ha. John's get- 
ting good. Mr. Mugager. Poor old Dearsie." 

"Say, Harrie, I hear Dearsie's gonna abolish 
play in' Post Office when he's elected City Muga- 
ger. What' 11 you do then?" 

"I don't know, Red, open a bird store I guess, 
ah-ha-ha-ha." 

246 



"Where's your daughter now, Harrie." 

"She went back to school last week, George. 
Sorry I missed her, but I'll see her at Thanks- 
giving." 

The strains of "We Can't Give You Anything 
But Votes" came through the cabin windows. 

"Boys, I've got to leap! Geez, you don't know 
how wonderful it really is to get back, depression 
or no depression. So they put the band on the 
cutter? Say, that's grand. I'll just jump aboard 
now, if you'll excuse me. See you all later. That is 
if Dearsie hasn't had me locked out of the Hall. 
Ah-ha-ha-ha! You'll find something I think you'll 
like in the clothes closet. So long." 



247 



44 



FOR THE FIRST TIME, it seemed to him, in 
years, the Mayor dined and spent the evening 
at home. It had been a terrible day, that first day 
back. There had been thousands at the pier to 
greet him as he landed from the Fred N. Wren- 
ker, thousands to cheer as he went up Pine Street 
in the Rolls, thousands more to roar and throw 
roses as he mounted the steps of the Hall. But he 
had missed something. What it was he didn't 
quite know. The edge was off things, somehow. 
To be sure there had been depression everywhere 
and in plenty when he left for Europe. Neverthe- 
less, the send-off had been genuine in its vocifer- 
ousness. The welcome back today had been vocif- 
erous, too, but there was something in the faces 

248 



of the vociferators. Many of them, those around 
the steps at the Hall, particularly, he had recog- 
nized as mere job-holders, stooges lined up by 
McQuilty and the boys to put on a good show 
for the press. How about those at the pier? And 
no ticker tape out of the Pine Street office win- 
dows. Probably the poor guys didn't have any 
ticker tape to throw. Was it the excitement of the 
Presidential campaign? Sure, that was it. Any- 
way, there 'd been cheers, hadn't there? Some- 
body'd cheered him, stooges or no stooges. And 
the massed bands played "Gee, We Think That 
You Are Simply Swell, Harrie.'' Did they? Did 
they still? Or was Our Harrie slipping? 

Prrrrrooo. 

What a day, what a day. 

The Mayor took a swallow from his highball 
and crossed his pajamaed knees. 

First of all, that long talk with Charlie. Would 
Hoover get smeared, and the State ticket with 
him? People were getting nastier and nastier about 
back taxes, although a surprising number of them 
had begun to pay up recently. More funds were 
needed for unemployment relief, and, speaking of 
which, more indigent McQuiltys were in need of 

249 



aid. The only unqualified good news Charlie had 
brought was that Dearsie's removal monkeyshines 
had got nowhere at the capital. One less headache 
to worry about, anyway. The big nance. 

Clyde Schorey, the Comptroller, had been so 
boring with his Funded Debts, his Unfunded Lia- 
bilities, his Converted Corporate Stock Notes, his 
Rapid Transit Boards and God only knew what 
else that the Mayor pleaded a headache and post- 
poned the consultation until the next day. All he 
had gathered was that the Greater City of Malta 
was going to borrow a great deal of money from 
the New First National group at usurious rates 
and that the Budget was going up again. It had 
all been very vital stuff, but when Clyde was 
talking little bubbles formed in the right corner 
of his mouth, broke away and sometimes floated 
off whole. Distracting. Tomorrow he'd have to 
put Clyde at his side where the bubbles couldn't 
be seen. 

The grandfather clock in the hall downstairs 
struck eleven. The Mayor finished his highball 
and removed his dressing gown. He leaped into 
the Victorian four-poster, snapped out the light 
on the night table, punched a dent in his pillow, 

250 



laid his head in it, drew the covers up to his chin. 

Eleven o'clock and in bed at home. And alone. 
Pretty funny, at that, and some kind of a world's 
record. Tomorrow afternoon open the Relief Drive. 
And would he make 'em weep? And thaw out 
all those frozen assets? Would he, boy, would he? 
And when he got through they really would 
think he was swell, all those stuffed shirts. He'd 
make it the kickoff of a new life. No more chasing 
around this last year. Winter coming. All those 
poor devils out there in the breadlines and selling 
apples. Thaw out the frozen assets! Malta, where 
is your heart? Oh, my friends, you must help 
me to lead a new life. If you will just help me a 
little by making out a check to carry on this great 
work. Get Our Harrie out of the breadlines and 
put him back in the headlines. Oh, my friends . . . 
Malta's Own . . . swell, Harrie . . . Charlie's 
Unfunded Uncle . . . Clyde's Rapid Transit bub- 
bles . . . Big Bubbles Amortization . . . swell, 
Harrie . . . 

When Mose Morgan, the colored houseman, 
approached the bed next morning with the 
Mayor's breakfast he dropped it. Encasing his mas- 
ter's left eye was the imprint of a pony's shoe. 

251 



45 



THE MAYOR was lowered into his grave after 
the gaudiest funeral the Greater City ever en- 
joyed. 

For a turbulent week he lay in state at the 
Churchill Funeral Parlors in the center of the 
theatrical district while hundreds of thousands of 
women of all ages and conditions, from the Dames 
of Antient Malta to the Sicily Chapter of the 
Y.W.H.B.S.A. filed past the bier, weeping, 
swooning, tearing at their hair and clothing, 
scratching each other, letting go in complete con- 
vulsions. So fierce was the crush for blocks around 
the parlors that scores of plate glass windows were 
stoshed in by the elbows and backsides of the 

252 



mourners, and mounted policemen were pulled 
from their horses. 

While Opal Nelligan, president of the Malta 
Quiet Birdwomen, wrote GOOD-BYE, HARRIE 
in smoke letters a quarter mile high against the 
distant heavens, His Grace, the Episcopal Bishop 
of the Diocese, read the typewritten funeral ora- 
tion below. 

''He was a gweat man," read His Grace into 
the microphones, "a gweat, gweat all awound 
man ..." 

Every few seconds he sneaked an annoyed look 
up at Opal Nelligan. 



2 53 



46 



THE BOARD o£ Estimate and Apportionment 
had passed the 1933 Budget of $784,629,351.33 
that afternoon, and Phillip Dorsey was preparing 
his forthcoming speech before the Citizens' 
Budget Committee. It was a little after 5 o'clock 
and the light was fading. 

"Consider, for example," he had just written, 
"what this Freemasonry of Freebootery has done 
not for but to the school system," when his secre- 
tary came in and said a Mr. Joe Jones wanted 
to see him on a matter that had to do with mu- 
nicipal affairs. 

"Joe Jones? Joe Jones? Does it sound impor- 
tant? I'm very busy." 

"I don't know, Mr. Dorsey. He does seem to 
254 



be bursting with something. And he says he has 
exhibits." 

"Exhibits, eh? Well, I suppose I'd better see 
him. Send him in." 

He underlined the words for and to and laid 
down his fountain pen. 

Mr. Joe Jones was a dim little man, scarcely 
more than five feet tall and of delicate build. He 
wore a rumpled overcoat of dark heather mixture 
and a dingy fedora. The fedora was in one hand 
and a bulging Boston bag in the other. Fastened 
to the left lens of his pince nez was a gold chain 
which traveled back over his ear. His eyes were 
pale green, white grape color, and his nose was 
pointed and he smiled slyly and all the time. 
Dorsey noticed that he walked with rather a 
mince as he crossed the room. 

"Mr. Jones? What can I do for you?" 

Dorsey leaned back in his swivel chair, rested 
his elbows on the arms, placed his fingers tip 
to tip. 

"You can do a great deal, Mr. Dorsey, a great 
deal," said Mr. Jones in a quick, fluty voice. 

"Something pertaining to city affairs, I think 
you told my secretary?" 

2 55 



4 'Oh, yes, pertaining to city affairs." 

"And you have some, ah, some exhibits?" 

"Oh, yes. Yes, I have the exhibits here in my 
bag." 

Mr. Jones seemed hesitant and fussed with the 
chain of his pince nez. Suddenly Dorsey noticed 
that the other end of the chain was fastened to a 
little gold hairpin that Mr. Jones kept pulling 
out and pushing back in his fine blond hair. 

"You are such a good man, Mr. Dorsey, so 
sincere. I've admired you for years. I'm sure you'll 
understand. Mr. Dorsey, what would you say if 
I told you I was the pony?" 

The spring of the swivel chair gave a swift 
groan. 

"You were the what!" 

"The pony. The pony that caused all the re- 
movals. I see you don't believe me. Well, what 
do you say to that?" 

He reached into the breast of his overcoat, 
drew out something that looked like a club and 
passed it to Dorsey handle first. It was a child's 
sawed-off ballbat, and screwed to its end was a 
small horseshoe, a pony's shoe. Muscle balls 
formed on the end of Dorsey 's jawbones. He 

256 



could hear his breath coming and going through 
his nostrils. 

"It was a protest," Mr. Jones was warbling 
on, "a protest on behalf of our dumb friends, who 
are wonderful in every way but just can't speak 
for themselves. For years I've been trying to get 
some action out of the City Hall on the dreadful 
trough shortage and the check rein evil. Today 
there are more than 65,000 horses within the 
Greater City and only seventy-one troughs for 
them to drink out of. Think of it! And the check 
rein evil. There is an ordinance against it, I know, 
but it's not enforced, Mr. Dorsey; it's not en- 
forced any more than prohibition is enforced. For 
years I've written letters to our politicians. And 
what good did it do? Why last year, three troughs 
were actually removed. I've tried to put our dumb 
friends' case before them in person, time after 
time after time. But would they see me? Not 
once, not one single time. Finally I just lost pa- 
tience and decided to protest. Direct action, Mr. 
Dorsey, that's the only way to get anything out 
of politicians. Direct action. Like the militant 
suffrage ttes." 

"But how " 

257 



' 'Oh, it was very simple. I just followed them. 
I'm a capital follower, Mr. Dorsey, and I've 
found it's surprising the places you can follow a 
person to if you just follow quietly. I'd decide on 
just which one I wanted to remove and then fol- 
low them until they got to a good place for re- 
moval. Then I just removed them and piled them 
around the way I wanted them. And then I'm 
the great little climber if I do say it myself. I'll 
show you, Dearsie. May I call you Dearsie? Such 
a cute name! The fellows call me Josie." 

Mr. Jones fished out of his Boston bag four 
oval rubber disks with concave surfaces. Two had 
gloves on the back and the other two web straps. 
He took off his overcoat and pulled the disks with 
web attachments over his shoes and up his legs 
and adjusted them like a basketball player's knee 
pads. The other disks attached to the gloves he 
drew on his hands. 

"Rubber," he said brightly. 

He dipped into the Boston bag again, clapped 
something over his face and adjusted an elastic 
band back of his head. It was a false face, the false 
face of a pony. On top were little ears. 

"All ready, now." 

258 



Mr. Jones went over to the wall, slapped it 
with his left hand and right knee. 

"I'm sure this will interest you." 

Mr. Jones went up the wall like a lizard. The 
disk made faint sounds like a pony pulling a 
hoof out of the mud. 

"Now, the celling." 

And there was the little pony false face hang- 
ing down right over Dorsey's desk. From behind 
it came soft, giggling whinneys. 

1 ' Whee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee ! ' ' Mr. 
Josie Jones was saying. 

How he rose out of his petrification, seized the 
kiddy ballbat and reeled to the outer office, Dorsey 
never knew. Miss Sansome, with her hat and coat 
on, was just about to go home. The page of in- 
structions in the front of the telephone book 
flashed before his mind. 

"Awk-duck-goog," he heard himself say to 
Miss Sansome and felt himself going. He grabbed 
the back of a chair. 

"Why, Mr. Dorsey! Are you sick?" 

"Operator, I want a policeman," he gasped to 
Miss Sansome, who had worked for him nine 
years, and passed out cold. 

2 59 



47 



MR. FEIN was the Dan ton. Frederick Lewis 
Allen in his praiseworthy and otherwise beauti- 
fully accurate "Those Terrible Thirties" (New 
York, 1 94 1, 3 Technocracy Energy Units), refers 
to the disturbance of that Sunday, October 30th, 
in Malta as "the Unemployment Riots," and 
offers in evidence the estimates of current local 
newspapers that "at least one-fifth of the entire 
population of the Greater City joined in the dem- 
onstration." This is true so far as it goes, but it 
does not explain whence came the spark that blew 
up the arsenal. Mr. Fein was the spark, Mr. Sig- 
mund Fein, Buttons, Badges, Banners. And the 
disturbances began as a Realtors' Riot, an Anti- 
Voters' Revolt, not as a breadline ruckus. 

260 



That evening more than three thousand dinner- 
jacketed taxpayers sat down to the Assessed 
Property Owners' Protest Banquet in the Grand 
Ballroom of the Schlitz-Monopol. The Directory 
of Directors was heavily represented, and among 
the thirty-six organizations which sent delegates 
were the National Economy League, Malta 
Branch, the Building and Loan Club, the Mer- 
chants and Manufacturers Association, the Build- 
ing Managers and Owners Association, the Better 
America Federation, the Better Business Associa- 
tion, the Real Estate Board and the Citizens' 
Budget Committee. (Phillip Dorsey had broken 
his nose on the chair when he swooned during 
the capture of Mr. Josie Jones and was unfor- 
tunately unable to leave his bed in St. Jerome's 
Hospital.) Warren S. Wheeler, President of the 
Real Estate Board, was the toastmaster, and seven 
speakers were chosen to harangue the Greater 
City's deflated bondholders. 

The fifth speaker had said "Thank you," 
bobbed his head and sat down. Three thousand, 
six hundred and eleven pairs of well-kept hands 
rose before glossy shirt bosoms, pounded together 
thirty or forty times and then reached eagerly for 

261 



flasks and glasses. There was 2 gigantic tinkling 
and gurgling. Here and there a guffaw exploded 
above the bee-swarm zumming. 

The toastmaster looked at his list and hoped 
the next two speakers would be able to get more 
recoil out of the embattled taxpayers. This was 
turning out to be just another banquet. He rose, 
cleared his throat and began to beat upon his 
tumbler with a spoon. Just as quiet started to 
come, a little man at a table in the center of the 
room rose and bawled: 

"Mister Tussmester!" 

Mr. Toastmaster beat harder on his tumbler 
and shouted something nobody heard. 

"Mister Tussmester!" 

"Gentlemen," Mr. Toastmaster was saying, 
"if you'll just quiet down a little I think Mr. Fein 
of the Favors Committee has something to say to 
us. Mr. Fein very kindly provided the little na- 
tional flags you found beside your plates when 
you sat down. Quiet, please, for Mr. Fein." 

"Mister Tussmester, we ain't getting no- 
where." 

Everywhere necks were craning and taxpayers 
were rising and peering. 

262 



"Louder, louder . . . yay, Fein . . . get up on 
the table ... let him talk . . . pipe down ... up 
on the table . . . yay, Fein ... up on the table ..." 

Mr. Fein scrambled up on the table. In his 
right hand he held his little American flag. 

"Mister Tussmester and fellow goats . . . yeah, 
goats. You're a goat. I'm a goat. We're all goats. 
Mister Tussmester' s the biggest goat from all: 
he's president from the Rill Estate Board." 

Mr. Fein signaled for silence with his flag. 

"Poison'ly, Mister Tussmester and fellow 
goats, poisn'ly, I'm getting tired eating all the 
tin kens our friends in City Hall has been feeding 
us the last few years. Even a goat becomes gradu- 
ally tired from eating tin kens, tin kens, tin kens, 
tin kens. 

"Tonight we ain't getting nowhere. Speeches 
we got. Committees we got. Yeah, and fellow 
goats, Bodgets we got! Texes we got! 

"What do our friends in City Hall do with 
speeches, with committees? Ha! I'm leffing. 

'Goats!' they say, 'Goats! Jus' give 'em 
plenty tin kens. Don't be stingy with the tin kens. 
Don't be stingy with the BODGETS. Don't be 
stingy with the TEXES.' 

263 



"So gradually more bodgets we got, more texes 
we got. More rents the pippul got." 

Mr. Fein's shoulders nearly touched his ears 
and his voice slid into a singsong. 

"The pippul can't pay the rent. They move 
out. Your houses is empty. Your appottments is 
empty. Your buildings is empty. But more bodg- 
ets you got! More texes you got! 

"You can't pay the bodgets. You can't pay the 
texes. You tell 'em you can't pay the texes. So 
what do our friends in City Hall say? 

"Our friends in City Hall say: 'Ha, goats, so 
you don't pay the bodgets? So you don't pay the 
texes? You tired from all the nice tin kens we 
been giving you, ha? All right, goats, we give 
you something else. We give you GENG- 
STERS!' 

"So now gengsters we got. A big, toff gengster 
gives you a visit. 

1 'Ha, goat, so you tired from nice tin kens? 
Bodgets you ain't paying? Texes you ain't pay- 
ing? Ha!' " 

Mr. Fein screwed his face up in a fierce scowl 
and shook his left fist. 

'Goat, you pay the bodgets. Goat, you pay 
264 



the texes. If you don't, goat, tin kens you'll get 
with bums, with machine gons, with kidnaping, 
with woiks!' 

"Ain't you tired from TIN KENS? Ain't you 
tired from BODGETS? Ain't you tired from 
TEXES? Ain't you tired from woiking, woiking, 
woiking, to keep hundred feefty tausend 
SCHLEMIELS, MOMSERS, LOAFERS in 
Tsity Hull? 

"Don't this fleg mean nothing? Did you for- 
get about the Boston Tea Potty, already? Rill tors 
of the woild unite! Arise you wictims from texa- 
tion! Let's be going down to Tsity Hull and 
show our friends goats can bott! LATS BOTT 
TSITY HULL DOWN!" 

The band in the gallery burst into "The S tar- 
Spangled Banner." Mr. Fein swayed his body 
from hip to hip and waved his flag with both 
hands as though it were big as a bed sheet. Cheer- 
ing like a fight crowd with a last round knockout 
imminent, three thousand, six hundred and eleven 
Assessed Property Owners leaped to their feet 
and stormed the elevators. 



:6 5 



48 



POLICE COMMISSIONER HOBELMAN 
stood among his deputies and inspectors on the 
top step of City Hall and gazed with dismay at 
the snowy acreage of three thousand, six hundred 
and eleven Boiled Shirts below him. Pressing the 
snowy acreage from behind and on either side was 
the great fluid mass of the Sans-chemises, rapidly 
filling up the front half of the five acre park in 
which the building stood. A double line of uni- 
formed patrolmen with hands joined protected 
the steps. 

"GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! 
WE'RE THE TIRED GOATS, GOATS. 
GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! 
266 



WE'RE THE TIRED GOATS, GOATS. 
GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! 
WE'RE THE TIRED GOATS, GOATS." 

chanted the boiled shirt choir with the madden- 
ing monotony of a jungle drum, and waved the 
little flags in unison. 

The Commissioner shivered. Had everybody 
gone nuts? Among those idiots out there in the 
soup-and-fish he recognized several dozen of the 
richest men in the Greater City, erectors of sky- 
scrapers and colossal apartment buildings, cus- 
tomers of his to whom he had sold plumbing 
supplies and fixtures for years. And there they 
were, most of them without hats or overcoats, 
standing in City Hall Park waving little flags 
and yelling about goats. Some of them carried 
two or three million dollars' worth of life insur- 
ance apiece. And now "Goats, goats, goats, 
goats." And they looked sober. What in hell was 
it all about? Once more the Commissioner 
shivered. 

Inspector Hinchy's voice indicated an itch for 
action: 

"All the mounties is in Grace Street, O.K. 
267 



now, Chief. Say the woid and they git the woiks 
an' plenty of it." 

"For the love of God, Frank, hold those cos- 
sacks of yours steady. Some of the biggest people 
in town's out there, and if we touch 'em we'll 
all get hung. We got to make 'em go quiet some 
way. Lemme think now." 

"Awright, Chief, but just say the woid an' 
woiks is what they git." 

"GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! 
WE'RE THE TIRED GOATS, GOATS." 

Commissioner Hobelman shivered again. 



:68 



49 



IN THE BACK RANK of the Assessed Prop- 
erty Owners, Major Gen. Zebulon S. Hotchkiss, 
U.S.A. (retired), president of the Funk Hotel 
Chain, had just taken an appalling pull from his 
flask. Six feet three, still spare and sway backed, 
he towered above his chubby confreres like some 
fierce fallen angel. A fine sight, the General there, 
in his dinner jacket, clean shaven, firm lipped, 
jowl-free, bareheaded. At West Point they called 
him Beautiful Zeb, and he was pivot man in the 
flying wedge when football players wore their hair 
long and worked under abattoir rules. 

Smacking his lips in satisfaction, the General 
stuffed his flask into a hip pocket. 

"Here, sir, try this/' 

269 



The General looked down at a little man wear- 
ing a very dirty checked cap and his coat collar 
turned up and fastened with a horse-blanket safety 
pin. 

"Try this, sir, go ahead." 

The little man was smiling greasily and hold- 
ing out something. The General looked down. It 
was a dornick, a smooth half-brick, with hardly 
any jagged edges to speak of. 

"Go on, sir, you can do it. I couldn't wing it 
that far myself.' ' 

"GOATS, GOATS, GOATS, GOATS " 



The chant was dying down. 

The General gravely wrapped his hand around 
the dornick. 

"Try that big window over the steps, sir," the 
little man whispered. Gravely, the General drew 
back his arm without changing his fierce, set 
handsomeness in any discernible manner. 

BAM! Tinkle-inkle-inkie-inkle. 

There was an immediate " Ahhbhh!" of de- 
light from the crowd as though a magnificent 
rocket had exploded overhead. 

270 



"GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! GOATS!" 

The chant took on a redoubled vigor. 

The Sans-chemises began closing in from the 
rear and both flanks. 

"Bull's-eye, sir! Here's another one." 

BAM! Tinkle-inkle-inkle-inkle. 

"Ahhhhh!" 

Closer and closer pushed the Sans-chemises. 
From under a thousand coats dornicks came and 
were passed up to the Boiled Shirts. 

Mr. Fein got one. 

"Don't be stingy with the dornicks," he 
screamed, "it's City dornicks. We paid for 'em. 
Give plenty dornicks." 

He hurled his with an overarm girlish motion. 
It struck Mr. Wheeler, toastmaster and President 
of the Real Estate Board, in the back of the neck 
and killed him. 

"GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! GOATS!" 

The Sans-chemises pushed the Boiled Shirts 
closer and closer to the double line of cops. 
BAM! Tinkle-inkle-inkle-inkle, 
ill 



BAM! Tinkle-inkle-inkle-inkle. 

BAM! Tinkle-inkle-inkle-inkle. 

Commissioner Hobelman roared in Inspector 
Hinchy's ear: 

' 'Pass the word to those flatfeet down there 
not to sock none of the gentlemen in evening 
dress." 

From one end of the double line to the other 
word went swiftly from mouth corners: ''Chief 
says to lay off soup-n'-fish . . . lay off soup-n'-fish 
. . . lay off soup-n'-fish ..." 

Brass buttons were rubbing shirt studs. 

From deep among the Sans-chemises a dornick 
whistled through the night and 



BONG! 

struck Patrolman Jacob Pabst, Shield No. 6472, 
on the cap. He fell back on the steps. The front 
line opened. Boiled Shirts were rammed through 
the hole by the crush of the Sans-chemises. The 
second line broke. And three thousand, six hun- 
dred and ten Assessed Property Owners were 
swarming up the steps. 

272 



"GOATS! GOATS! GOATS! GOATS!" 

The broken ranks of cops, under orders not to 
sock the gentlemen in evening dress, were scat- 
tered to the sides and swallowed by the Sans- 
chemises who poured forward like an inrushing 
tide. To the Goats-rhythm the great bronze doors 
were heaved open on the fourth GOATS! It 
was hailing dornicks. 

General Hotchkiss' silver head appeared 
through a windo>v in the office of Comptroller 
Homer D. Weston on the second floor. 

In went the head and out came a water cooler 
taking with it the sash. Next, a mimeograph ma- 
chine. Next, a filing cabinet. Then a desk. It 
reminded the General of his shave-tailhood in the 
Boxer Rebellion. He hadn't had such a bully eve- 
ning since the Armistice. 

Boiled Shirts and Sans-chemises poured into the 
building, and furniture and fixtures cascaded from 
every window. 

Suddenly those outside fighting to get in saw 
a pale, jumping, yellow light in the offices of 
Acting Mayor Porello on the northwest corner 
of the building. 

273 



"Ahhhhh!" 

Boiled Shirts and Sans-chemises tumbled out 
through the smoke. 

Soon the City Hall of the Greater City of 
Malta was a roaring torch. 

Mr. Fein galloped up on a mounted cop's 
horse. 

"The County Beelding! The County Bedd- 
ing," he shrieked. 

Soon the County Building of the Grand Old 
County of Malta was a roaring torch, too. 



274 



So 



BY 5 A.M. the Furlong Bar at Watzel's Road- 
house was packed with hundreds of ladies, the 
funniest little ladies that ever were seen. Some 
were big, roomy ladies with corrugated necks; 
others were scrawny and caterpillar-moustached. 
Some of the ladies had fresh, open faces; others 
were swarthy or hook-nosed. Most of the ladies 
smoked cigars, all of them had stubble on their 
chins. They leaned against the oval Furlong Bar 
awkward in their skirts, now and then hauling 
them up to get at trousers pockets, swallowing 
shot after shot without waiting for chasers, spit- 
ting elaborately on the cement floor, gabbling, 
gabbling, gabbling in fear and rage while fifty-six 
bartenders worked themselves into a lather. All 

275 



the blinds were drawn; the room was lit by a 
seven-branched candlestick on top of the main 
cash register. Uniformed patrolmen stood shoulder 
to shoulder with burly Lowells at every window, 
their machine guns at the ready. 

Suddenly there was a tremendous pounding 
and thumping on the icebox door at the north 
side of the room. The gabbling ceased instantly, 
and the muzzle of every machine gun swung 
around. Nobody moved for a full minute. The 
pounding and thumping echoed through the 
room. Finally, at a nod from a police captain, the 
headwaiter tiptoed to the icebox door, opened it 
an inch, peered through the crack. 

'Tor Gawd's sake, Jake, open up." 

And in walked John Norris (Jolly John) 
Holtsapple. 

He was wearing a dressing sacque of green 
gingham, and on the great head sat a boudoir 
cap with a wide pink ribbon. Behind him came 
McQuilty in widow's weeds, the heavy black 
veil thrown up over the squashed hat and italiciz- 
ing the fish-belly white of his face. Mike Raf- 
figan's agonized orang-utan expression was hidden 
by a blue sun bonnet which matched his Mother 

276 



Hubbard. Loftus came last, in a knitted blue 
jumper. On his hat were cherries and in his mouth 
a Corona Perfecto. 

"John . . . John . . . Ahhhhh, John ..." 

They swarmed around him like the peoples of 
Europe around Woodrow Wilson before Versailles. 
The march to the bar was an ovation. Over the 
mahogany they lifted him. 

"John!" 

Waving a bottle of rye, he stood on an up- 
ended beer keg and made them men again. 

"Turn on the lights. Pull up them blinds. 
You boys at the windows put away them squirt- 
guns. It's all over. I just talked to Heinie Hobel- 
man on the phone and everything's under con- 
trol. The Governor called out the militia an hour 
ago, and it's all over but a little smoke yet. 
When I get through talking you can all go back 
home and get some sleep." 

(Swig.) 

"Well, girls, how do you like my outfit? 
Pretty swell, ain't it. Just something I made my- 
self at home off'n a pattern I seen in the paper." 

With the bottle neck he indicated his three 
companions lined up at the bar. 

277 



"You all know the Widdy McQuilty there? 
Poor old widdy woman. Sure, Mrs. McQuilty, 
and I'm sorry for all yer trouble. The Widdy 
thinks this here little affair's a wake when it's 
really a wedding. You all know Rebecca Raffigan, 
there? Rebecca-of-Sunny brook-Farm Raffigan, 
Rebecca's the maid of honor. And Lizzie Loftus 
there? Sure you know Lizzie. Lizzie, them's the 
loveliest cherries in your hat, dear, they make me 
hungry. Lizzie's our bridesmaid, boys. Poor old 
Liz. Always a bridesmaid but never a bride. Stick 
to it, Liz. Here, have a shot of this Listenne." 

(Swig, Swig.) 

"We come out here in a truck fulla old cement 
sacks. I can't hardly talk with all the cement and 
burlap I got inside me. (Swig.) But it's a great 
thing for the vision. Any time any you boys 
can't see your way ahead just take a good long 
ride under some old cement sacks. It shakes up 
the wits wonderful. And now lemme tell you 
about this here vision.'* 

(Swig. Swig. Swig.) 

"This here gathering reminds me of the party 
caucuses we used to have back in the old days 
before there was primaries. Like old Fred Wren- 

278 



ker used to say: 'No place to hold a caucus like 
a saloon, except maybe a livery stable.' I remem- 
ber one time we held one at Mme. Jessie Bruno's, 
and was that a success! But then the reformers 
put in the primaries, so all that hadda go. Too 
bad." 

( Swi g) 

"But lemme tell you about this vision. While 

I was laying there under them bags, I seen in 
my mind the City Hall in flames. I seen the 
County Building in flames. The City Hall of the 
Greater City of Malta and the County Building 
of this grand old county, all in flames that the 
dirty, low-down Socialist lieutenants of Trotsky we 
got here boring from within set on fire for Rus- 
sian gold. And, friends, I seen it was the end of 
something. 

"Something ended when them two lovely 
landmarks went up in flames, friends, and I'll tell 
you what it was. It was the Two-Party System 
died, that's what died. Anyways, as far as this 
Greater City and this grand old County's con- 
cerned. 

"As I laid there under them bags, I thought 
of the words of our next President of the United 

2 79 



States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 'A new deal/ 
he says, 'it's time for a new deal all around.' 
And he was rignt. You're gonna see that a week 
from tomorrow when the people march to the 
polls. But here's how the new deal's gonna work 
out right here in this Greater City and this grand 
old County. 

"As far as this Greater City and this grand old 
County's concerned, there ain't any more Demo- 
crats and there ain't any more Republicans. We're 
just one big family with our backs to the wall 
fighting shoulder to shoulder against the rotten 
Bolsheviki maggots eating at the vitals of the city, 
Our Greater City, that we love. One great big 
solid party, the Greater Malta, I Love You Party, 
the NON-PARTEESIAN Party!" 

He had time for four swigs. 

"Yes, friends, the Non-Parteesians, that's us. 
That's us from right now on. And how we gonna 
vote a week from tomorrow? We're gonna vote 
for our next President of the United States, 
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or we're gonna vote 
for the guy that's been trying to run things since 
1928, or you can even vote for this Bolsheviki, 
Thomas, if you want to. That's either here or 

280 



there. But do you know how the Greater Malta, 
I Love You Party's gonna vote, the Non-Par- 
teesian Party? WE'RE GONNA GET BE- 
HIND THE CITY MANAGER AMEND- 
MENT! 

"Yessir, that's what we're gonna do. I see 
some of your faces fall, but that's because you 
don't know nothing about it. I know all about it. 
I been studying it lately, and, friends, I tell you 
it's a great thing, a wonderful thing. It's the only 
thing that can save us now from this Bolsheviki 
menace that's all the time boring from within and 
set fire to those two beautiful landmarks we all 
loved so well last night. It's the only thing'll 
keep the cherries on our hats. 

"Listen. This is the whole thing in a nutshell. 
A City Manager's got to have a City Council. 
He's hired by the Council at so and so much a 
year, get it? He's hired by the Council. Without 
the Council tells him to, he cant spend a dime. 
What is this City Council? It's just another name 
for the Board of Aldermen. Do you begin to 
ketch on? 

"And who'll be our City Manager? (And 
don't let me hear no more of this 'City Mugager' 

281 



stuff from now on or there'll be trouble.) Why, 
nobody but the Honable Dea-Phillip C. Dorsey, 
the man who single-handed caught the Pony 
Murderer, that's who. Who else would there be? 
He caught the Pony Murderer, didn't he? He's 
been trying to put this City Mug — Management 
over for years, ain't he? Who else but Phil Dor- 
sey? 

"Nobody else, friends, nobody else. And now 
lemme see you all go home and get behind this 
Greater Malta, I Love You, this Non-Parteesian 
Party, and put over this City Management a 
week from tomorrow that's gonna save Our 
Grea'er Ci'y an' Our Gran' Ole Coun'y and keepa 
cherries on our ha's, Frens, I thang you." 

Loftus leaped on the bar and began to sing: 

"Oh Dearsie Dorsey came to town, 
A-riding on a pony. 
Kep' the cherries on our hat 
And called it City Mugagement!" 

The queerest little ladies that ever were seen 
took it up until the bottles rattled. 



28: 



51 



GREATER MALTA went to the polls on Elec- 
tion Day and when the smoke lifted these were 
the main results: 

Roosevelt Hoover Thomas 

(D) (R) (S) 

.1,437,231 575'°3 I 120,486 

Only 607 persons voted NO on City Manage- 
ment. 

As a token of the public temper, on 306,418 
ballots was scrawled for President the name of 
Josie Jones who was awaiting execution in the 
death house of State's Prison. Of course these 
ballots had to be thrown away. 

283 



"Nevertheless," said Mr. Jones, pausing in his 
checker game with a confrere in the next cell, 
when informed of the news, "nevertheless, it was 
very gratifying. Shows what a protest can do in 
these times. Your move, I think." 



284 



52 



BY THE FIRST of the year the horde of profes- 
sors and municipal experts who had flocked to the 
Greater City to help it draw up its new charter 
had departed. On January 2nd there was an elec- 
tion. Sixty-five solid Muldoons, all of the Greater 
Malta, I Love You or Non-Parteesian Party were 
sent to the City Council by walloping majorities 
and Acting Mayor John T. Porello was made 
Mayor. Under the new dispensation, it was merely 
his duty to preside over the Council, Greet Dis- 
tinguished Guests, Throw Out the First Ball, Snip 
the Ribbon to Open the New Street, and fulfill 
the other obligations so important a part of metro- 
politan mayoralty. Phillip Dorsey was offered the 

285 



City Managership, and after a talk with Holt- 
sapple he accepted it. 

"We need you, Phillie, my boy; this Greater 
City needs you. And you need us." 

On the night of Saturday, January 14th, they 
tendered the new champion a dinner in the grand 
ballroom of the Schlitz-Monopol. His broken nose 
gave him a more formidable appearance, and he 
had let his moustache grow. 

"Why, darling, you're getting to look like T. 
R.!" Hattie had said that morning. 

"Nonsense," he growled. But he was de- 
lighted. 

Six thousand sat down at that banquet, six 
thousand, all solid Non-Parteesians, Lovers of the 
Greater City. When Dorsey rose to speak they 
howled and screamed and whistled for twenty 
minutes. Tears filled his eyes as he watched the 
frenzied waving napkins. City Manager. He was 
City Manager. How good they all were, and fine 
and human! How wrong he had been about them 
all. 

"My friends," he began, "tonight is the hap- 
piest night I have ever lived." 



:86 



53 



THAT SAME NIGHT Mike Raffigan counted 
the last truck from the splintery platform of the 
Administration Building at Muswell's Island. 

"Three hunnad an forty-one. Some parade. 
You know, Orv, I never see them cinders " 

"Ashes, Mike, ashes." 

"Awnght, ashes. But it's funny. I never see 
them ashes without tryin' to think of the name 
of that pitcher I seen oncet. There was a big 
paradea trucks, just like this here, only it wasn't 
ashes in the trucks, it was soldiers. Geez, I wish I 
could think of the name." 

"Wasn't 'I Am a Fugitive From a Chain 
Gang,' was it?" 

287 



'Chain Gang'? Noooh, it wasn't 'Chain 
Gang.' This here was a war pitcher. Lemme think 



now . . 



THE END 



£8 



THE 
JOHN DAY 




COMPANY 

INC. 




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